Lone wind turbine in front of Cleveland’s Science Museum won’t be lonely much longer.
(Sept 7, 2011, GreenCityBlueLake press release)
Earlier this month, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced that Cleveland Public Power committed to purchase 20% of the renewable energy produced by the offshore turbines proposed by The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDco). The Cleveland utility boldly took the dollars and cents investment decision out of their financial offices and chose to invest in a program of clean, renewable energy produced in Northeast Ohio.
Jackson pointed out that investing in the offshore project has a win-win-win bottom line: 1.) Hundreds, eventually thousands of jobs in wind and renewable energy are up for grabs. 2.) Hundreds of companies located here are already supplying parts to wind turbine manufacturers. 3.) In a region that needs cleaner air, environmental metrics come into play as well.
Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake and Lorain Counties are among the partners in LEEDco, a non-profit public/private business driving the development of offshore wind in Lake Erie. GreenCityBlueLake agrees with Jackson that the LEEDco plan is a step in the right direction.
Under the plan, even though the first wind farm will be built in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, the majority of funds for each wind farm project are spread to surrounding counties. The counties are happy with the arrangement because just as costs are shared, so are the benefits.
Both the public and the environment benefit from cleaner air and water. By replacing some of the coal-fired energy in power plants with wind energy, Lake Erie fish (and Lake Erie fishermen/women) will consume less mercury. And, of course, the entire area benefits from the creation of new jobs and payroll taxes that stay right here.
My Take: Clevelanders have Howard Cossel to thank for tossing off the phrase, “The Mistake by the Lake.” Too bad our Fair City can’t speak to Howard. I’m sure she’d quote Mark Twain to him, who upon reading his own obituary, commented, “Reports of my death are highly exaggerated.” And Cossel could watch for himself as the “Mistake” transformed itself into what Bill Mason, Chair of the Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force, calls “The Green City by the Blue Lake.”