Being a Cleveland native, I've taken special interest in the offshore wind project planned for Lake Erie. For those of you who aren't as familiar with the story, an initial 5-7 turbines are slated for construction in 2013. But what's especially interesting to me is the agreement to share revenue associated with submerged land leases across four counties.
Sun News reports that John Kohlstrand, a spokesperson for Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, said the revenue-sharing agreement sets a precedent for the project as it grows, as the goal is to erect about 250 turbines.
This means that when land leases are reached for future turbines, the agreement will be an example for other projects outside of the county. The benefit is that with everyone working together, multiple counties won't be feuding over the turbines.
Initially, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will receive half of the revenue from the leases for the underwater transmission lines, and the other half will be split across the four counties. The five-year contract establishes that the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority would receive 40% of the revenue, or about $11,000, while Lorain, Lake and Ashtabula counties would receive 20% each, or about $5,500.
Although we're not talking about millions of dollars, the most important point of the projects is that they'll create jobs, which Ohio really needs right now. Who knows, maybe Cleveland will once again become a key player in the manufacturing industry. But instead of steel, it will be turbines and boats. Whatever degree of success the project reaches, it's just good to know it will be shared beyond Cuyahoga County.