Offshore wind is one of the few emerging and growing large-scale manufacturing industries in the United States. While Europe continues to lead the offshore wind charge with €2.6 billion in offshore wind projects in 2010 alone, and another €90 billion expected in the next 10 years, several U.S. projects are surfacing off the Atlantic Coast and in the Great Lakes. Commercial scale applications of offshore wind technology have created more than 40,000 jobs worldwide. With the U.S. poised to become a new manufacturing hub, there is now an active race in the U.S. among multiple states to see who will have the first project and obtain the corresponding economic development benefits – supply chain manufacturing of component parts, port development to build foundations and assemble towers, and the significant engineering and construction opportunities that accompany such projects. With world-class industrial capacity, excellent ports, suitable electrical transmission infrastructure, and a trained labor force, Ohio is well positioned to become a regional hub for decades as this industry matures.
Over time, the development of an offshore wind industry in Lake Erie is expected to create a significant number of jobs and spur economic development in Ohio. According to an economic impact study sponsored by LEEDCo, Ohio has the potential to develop more than 5,000 jobs in this emerging market and serve other Great Lakes projects.
This initial investment is a precursor to over $2 billion of renewable energy development in Ohio. It will establish Ohio as the leader in offshore wind in North America. With significant community support, a world class development team, and real economic development benefits, the Lake Erie Offshore Wind project will help revitalize Ohio.