A new report provides job creation estimates based on several different scenarios for offshore wind energy development in the Great Lakes, Midwest Energy News reports. David Loomis, an economics professor at Illinois State University who is also a member of the steering committee for the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative, authored the report, "The Potential Economic Impact of Offshore Wind Energy in the Great Lakes," using a formula developed by the national Renewable Energy Laboratory. According to the report, "[a]s the amount of installed capacity increases, the number of jobs created in the region increases at a faster clip." The more megawatts installed, the more worthwhile it is for companies to set up local operations, leading to significantly higher job creation estimates. This can only happen if companies feel confident that the policies put in place for offshore wind energy development are stable, the article said.
An outfit in Ohio is currently pursuing its own Great Lakes wind energy venture. The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation's (LEEDCo) Icebreaker project looks to place six wind turbines off the coast of Cleveland on Lake Erie as a pilot wind farm (See our June 22, 2013, blog post for more information). After nearly a decade in the making, the project is currently pending approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board, which recently held a public meeting on the project, according to The Plain Dealer. LEEDCo is one of seven offshore projects competing for three $46.7 million competitive grants from U.S. Department of Energy, likely to be awarded this spring.