Livonia, Mich, September 20, 2018 – The Michigan Boating Industries Association, along with environmental groups, boating associations and property owners are presenting members of the Ohio Power Siting Board with petitions calling for rejection of a proposed wind turbine demonstration farm. The project, planned for construction in the waters of Lake Erie off Clevland's shoreline, is slated for the Board's closed hearing on Monday.
“MBIA is not opposed to alternative sources of energy," MBIA Executive Director Nicki Polan, said in a statement. "But, regarding wind farms in our Great Lakes, we find far too many unanswered questions and documented risks to the health and aesthetics of these unique and often times fragile bodies of water. We stand opposed to plans such as the one being considered in Ohio now.”
Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo). is seeking permits to build the wind farm, dubbed “Icebreaker.” Permits state the project's purpose is to stimulate the development of 1,000 or more wind turbines in Lake Erie and other Great Lakes. MBIA petitions come from hundreds of Michigan residents, as Michigan shares a large section of western Lake Erie. Michigan petitioners believe the approval of project Icebreaker on Lake Erie will stimulate economic interest in developing wind farms in the other Great Lakes.
“This proposal has so many indisputable strikes against it,” Lake Erie Marine Trades Association President Bryan Ralston says, “we’re calling for the OPSB to reject it outright. It cannot be justified economically. It will raise-- not lower-- consumer’s electrical rates. It cannot survive without taxpayer subsidies. It’s an environmental disaster and it will become an industrial size turbine graveyard in the future.”
Other notable organizations standing with the MBIA in opposition to project Icebreaker include: the Boating Associations of Ohio, SaveOurBeautifulLake.org, Edgewater Yacht Club, Greater Cleveland Boating Association, and NoLakEerieWindFarm.org.
According to the Lake Erie Foundation, what was once considered a "dead lake" is now a thriving fishery, source of drinking water, and home to countless waterfowl, including the much vaunted Bald Eagle. But, the Foundation says, it remains a fragile body of water facing serious algae problems, a myriad of invasive species and other threats to this ecosystem.