Rep. Ross McGregor introduced H.B. 632 to require the Director of Natural Resources to establish a plan to make available for lease areas of the bed of Lake Erie for the purpose of wind energy development and to require Lake Erie wind farms to be certified by the Power Siting Board.

Legislation is necessary to create a mechanism to place wind turbines on Lake Erie.

For those who have not been following this proposal, here are some links of interest:

Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force-  This group, lead by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason, has been exploring the feasibility of developing off-shore wind in Lake Erie. The feasibility study will recommend whether or not to proceed with the development of the Great Lakes Wind Energy Center – and if so, how to fund and implement its development. The study will provide a conceptual design for the offshore turbines, including the technical function and scope of the site.  The feasibility study is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2009. 

Volokh Conspiracy– Blog post regarding design issues faced by locating in the Great Lakes versus Salt Water.  Good array of comments that further flush out the issues…

Opposition View from Local Cleveland Blog-  Bill Callahan questions whether the Region’s first investment "should be a handful of experimental wind plants that can’t go on line in less than five years; must be engineered from the ground up with unpredictable costs, unpredictable construction and operating problems, and unpredictable output economics; and for all these reasons can only be built with millions of dollars in scarce public subsidies that would otherwise support lots of smaller, less risky initiatives?"

Proponent View Green Energy Ohio-  On their wind activities page they discuss the progress being made on the project.

My View-  In yesterday’s post I discussed the prospect of Ohio becoming a leader in developing Clean Tech to boost its economy.  In that post I discuss the need for Ohio to find ways to lead the nation in Clean Tech development.  Austin (Texas) and Research Triangle (N.C.) and Silicon Valley (Calif.)  where the first to identify and lead in promoting technology to develop their economies.  For Ohio, and hopefully Cleveland, to beat all the other areas competing for Clean Tech jobs it must be a visible leader.  It must do something bold and first.  For those reasons, being the first to develop fresh water wind makes sense.

(Photo: Flickr Phault)