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GEO Cleveland Water Crib Wind Test Report

Cleveland, Windy City?

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Front Page
Friday, January 11, 2008

A two-year measure of wind on Lake Erie found plenty of energy for a wind-turbine farm. Results from the monitoring tower at Cleveland's water-intake crib - 3.5 miles off downtown Cleveland - showed:

Average wind speed of 16.4 mph, 165 feet above water.

Prevailing winds from the southwest. They were strongest in the fall and summer. [See Letter to Editor below]

During the day, wind speeds were slowest between 8 a.m. and noon, by a slight margin.

Six wind turbines, each 300 feet tall, would generate enough electricity for 6,000 homes.

[See GEO Crib Wind Report at: http://www.greenenergyohio.org/page.cfm?pageID=78

WIND POWER STUDY

Study Finds Strong Winds Off
Lake Erie for Turbine Project

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Front Page
Friday, January 11, 2008
Tom Breckenridge

Lake Erie winds are the strongest recorded anywhere in Ohio, good news for city leaders exploring whether Cleveland could be an international hub for offshore wind power.

A two-year study of wind off downtown Cleveland's shoreline found average speeds markedly stronger than those already turning wind turbines in Bowling Green, the nonprofit Green Energy Ohio reported Thursday.
 
GEO's report is timely. On Tuesday, Cuyahoga County commissioners approved a $1 million study that will look at the costs and challenges of erecting a small wind farm on Lake Erie, as well as establishing a wind research, development and certification center here.

"This is the first measurement of offshore wind and the results are encouraging," said Paul Oyaski, director of the county's development department. "The results show not only the vitality of the offshore wind, but the viability of offshore wind power."
With money from the Cleveland Foundation and other sources, GEO worked with the city in the summer of 2005 to erect a 165-foot-tall tower on the city's water intake crib. It's about 3½ miles off the downtown shore.

At 165 feet above the water, average winds registered at 16.4 mph.

That compares to average winds of 12.9 mph near Bowling Green, the only site in Ohio with commercial wind turbines.

GEO has monitored wind at 10 sites on land in Ohio. Lake Erie's are the strongest. Experts say the winds would be even stronger farther out on the lake and at greater heights.

The GEO report "lays the foundation" for the 13-month feasibility study that is to begin shortly, Oyaski said.

The study was recommended by the Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force, composed of city, county, corporate and nonprofit leaders who believe Cleveland has the wind and manufacturing capacity to be a leading player in the fledgling market for offshore wind energy.

There are few wind turbines operating on the world's waters, and none in fresh water, officials say.

As a demonstration project, the task force has proposed building up to 10 wind turbines in Lake Erie, generating power for up to 6,000 homes. GEO estimates that six, towering turbines -- each more than 30 stories tall -- could supply the same power given the strength of Lake Erie winds.

But a Lake Erie wind farm and research center are years away.

Letter to the editor: Wind power on Lake Erie:
Winds are strongest in falll, winter, spring

Cleveland Plain Dealer
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

As authors of the report on the potential for offshore wind power on Lake Erie, we commend the excellent coverage in the Jan. 11 Plain Dealer. Development of the lake's wind resource and the establishment of a wind industry need full public acceptance and support.

We wish to correct a significant error in the text accompanying the picture of the wind turbine. The winds are actually strongest in the late fall, winter and early spring, not during the summer as the caption states. Wind power thus needs to be used in tandem with solar energy to provide a year-round source of sustainable energy.

Two important additions to the study should be undertaken. First, the site must be maintained as a long-term data gathering station because historical data are critical to better wind energy projections. Green Energy Ohio has given the tower and instruments to the city of Cleveland and is encouraged by the possibility that Case Western Reserve University will assume analysis activity.

Second, the measured wind shear (the variation of wind speed with height) was unexpectedly low. Further measurements and computer modeling are needed to understand this phenomenon, which is crucial to determining the turbine tower height.

The full report is available at GreenEnergyOhio.org.

Fletcher Miller

Katherine Dykes

Miller is a former Green Energy Ohio board member, and Dykes is a GEO wind analyst. d tens of millions of dollars in the making, officials say.

This week, the county hired a Germany-based renewable energy company that will delve into the regulatory, engineering, environmental and financial challenges of the project.