Icebreaker deal-breaker is no more

The Ohio Power Siting Board has removed a requirement for the Icebreaker Wind project in Lake Erie to shut down its wind turbines during nighttime hours from March through November.

Icebreaker Deal-Breaker Off the Table
Source: LEEDCo

Back in May, the Board approved the construction of the Icebreaker Wind project with 33 conditions, one of which was that the project’s six MHI Vestas 3.45 MW turbines must be shut down during nighttime hours from March until November, citing the wind farm’s potential impact on birds and bats as the reason.

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo), the developer of the Icebreaker Wind project, subsequently applied for a rehearing and reconsideration of the Board’s ruling, arguing that the ”board stepped outside its statutory authority and violated Ohio law.” LEEDCo said at the time that the ruling could be a ”project-killing decision”.

Last month, the Board unanimously approved an amendment eliminating the nighttime ”turbine feathering” condition and now that amendment was formally adopted.

The Board’s order on rehearing grants in part, and denies, in part, the application for rehearing filed in this proceeding by Icebreaker, and denies applications for rehearing filed by other parties to the case.

The 20.7 MW Icebreaker Wind project will be built 8 to 10 miles off the shore of Cleveland.

The project must comply with 33 conditions before, during, and after the construction, as well as during facility operation.

Among these conditions, Icebreaker must conduct radar studies, and, based on these studies, provide the Board with a bird and bat impact mitigation plan. The Board must approve a final bird and bat risk mitigation protocol prior to the start of construction.