The 20.7-MW Icebreaker wind project has received a green light for construction from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, advancing plans for constructing North America’s first freshwater offshore wind farm in 2021.

Final approval from the Ohio Siting Board is expected in June.

Construction permitting for the six-turbine project, planned in Lake Erie, 8 miles north of Cleveland, was announced March 25 by the Cleveland-based Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo), the nonprofit public-private developer partnering with the Norwegian-owned Fred Olsen Renewables, a subsidiary of Bonheur ASA. The project will use a mono bucket as the turbine foundation. 

The permit came after more than two years of review from the U.S. Army Corps, which administers and enforces provisions of the Rivers and Harbors Act and the Clean Water Act.

“The issuance of the permit represents a big step forward for this thoroughly reviewed project,” says LEEDCo President Lorry Wagner. “This project represents the first step toward realizing the substantial potential of making our region a national hub for wind energy.”