The City of Cleveland and Mayor Frank Jackson are committed to turning Cleveland into a “Green City on a Blue Lake.” To help accomplish this, Cleveland needs to become a leader in the economy of the future. This economy will be centered on sustainable job growth. Substantial job growth for Cleveland can result from a focus on renewable energy, as renewable energy creates four times as many jobs per megawatt of installed capacity as natural gas and creates 40% more jobs per dollar invested than coal-fired plants. The LEEDCo “Icebreaker” project will demonstrate that in a sustainable economy, economic growth and environmental concerns are not in conflict but rather function together.
The Lake Erie LEEDCo “Icebreaker” project is one of a kind. It is the only fresh-water wind turbine project in the United States at this time. A recent grant from the Department of Energy will allow for six 3-megawatt wind turbines to be built in Lake Erie seven miles offshore by the year 2017. In addition, more than 4,500 people have pledged to purchase electricity from the “Icebreaker” project.
A major component of a sustainable economy is keeping business and investments in the region. This region’s manufacturing companies are capable of producing wind turbine components among other energy related devices. Therefore, when we invest in renewable energy projects like “Icebreaker”, we are helping to keep business in the region thereby creating jobs and fueling the local economy. This project would create a projected 500 initial jobs and the potential for 6,000 long-term wind-energy jobs by 2025.
The City of Cleveland fully supports the creation of this off-shore wind farm and is prepared to buy 25 percent or up to 5-megawatts of the energy created by the wind farm. This is the type of project Mayor Jackson envisioned when he launched Sustainable Cleveland 2019 four years ago. Projects like “Icebreaker” will help move our region forward into a sustainable economy and position Cleveland as a leader in the economy of the future.