Ohio's first two commercial wind turbines were installed in Bowling Green in 2003. Another two turbines were erected the following year, doubling the project's capacity to 7.2 MW. Since then though, Ohio's commercial wind capacity has remained at 7.2 MW. While Ohio's wind capacity stood still for the next half decade, the nation's took off and grew by more than 400%.
But 2010 is proving to be a big year for wind power in Ohio. Largely in response to the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards enacted in June of 2008, utility scale wind is starting to take off in Ohio too. On March 22nd the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) approved three on-shore wind energy projects that will add more than 480 MW of generating capacity.
- 200 turbines in Hardin County will add 300 MW to the state's capacity. Hardin Wind, LLC hopes to break ground this summer.
- JW Great Lakes Wind, LLC will erect another 27 turbines in Hardin County, adding and additional 48 MW.
- And Buckeye Wind will add another 135 MW with a 54-turbine project in Champaign County.
- The first is a 50 MW project in Paulding County being developed by Paulding Wind Farm, LLC.
- Heartland Wind, LLC is seeking approval for a 175 MW project in Paulding and Van Wert Counties.
- And Black Fork Wind, LLC has an application under investigation for a 112 turbine project in Richland and Crawford Counties. The generating capacity for this project will likely exceed 200 MW.
Less than a week after the OPSB approved Ohio's first large-scale on-shore wind energy projects, Senator Brown and Governor Strickland met with Cleveland leaders to outline plans to advance large scale offshore wind energy projects.
"Lake Erie is ready to be home to the first offshore wind turbines in fresh water," Brown said. "The lake is shallow enough to support offshore wind turbines and is also surrounded on land by Ohio's rich industrial base. With the right priorities in Washington, Columbus, and Cuyahoga County, we will not only make this project a reality, but we'll also revitalize Ohio's manufacturing base and create new jobs. Wind energy will not only lower costs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but will also create new demand for components produced by Ohio's supply chain."
"Ohio's greatest potential for creating wind energy is offshore in Lake Erie. Offshore wind, in particular, offers opportunities for our manufacturing sector and for Ohio shipyards. Ohio can build the installation vessels needed in all the Great Lakes; Ohio can build the towers; Ohio can build the turbines and the blades; Ohio can build all the component parts," Strickland said "Sen. Brown's legislation will strengthen the federal government's partnership with Great Lakes states as we make sure the wind energy industry grows in Ohio. This legislation will also provide grants to our universities that are already focusing innovative research on solving the unique challenges of offshore wind in fresh water."
Read more on federal, state, and regional efforts to advance offshore wind energy projects in Ohio here.