Wildlife is safe with wind turbines

A new report by a wildlife expert claims that the Lake Erie wind turbine project called “Icebreaker” will have no significant biological impact on birds and bats near its operations.

Dr. Paul Kerlinger said, “The weight of evidence gathered from studies conducted over many years is quite conclusive. Biologically significant impacts to any bird or bat species, including those that are endangered and threatened are highly unlikely.”

Kerlinger used survey data collected at the project location and studied in the impacts on birds and bats of offshore wind farms in Europe and onshore farms in the United States.

Cuyahoga County began using radar at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to track bird migration across Lake Erie in 2008.

In 2010 the county installed more radar equipment and an acoustical monitoring station four miles from the project’s proposed site at the Cleveland water intake crib.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources also made visual surveys at the project’s location and along the shoreline.

Some environmentalists claim the project would harm wildlife.

LEEDCO, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, is preparing applications for permits required to begin construction on its six-turbine demonstration project.

LEEDCO is competing with six other national offshore wind project for one of the $46.7 million investments.

It will file permit applications in early 2014.

The Ohio Environmental Council has endorsed the project.

LEEDCO is a nonprofit organization working to build an offshore wind power industry for the Great Lakes Region.

Members include Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake and Lorain counties, the city of Cleveland, the Cleveland Foundation and NorTech.