Ohio Turbine Portends Lake Erie Wind Farm

Ohio Wind

Photo: Jenny Ogborn. Courtesy of the Lincoln Electric Co.

Cleveland’s Lake Erie, with its shallow fresh water and steady prevailing west winds, promises to be North America’s first offshore wind farm site. Meanwhile, the region has acquired its first large wind turbine, at the Euclid, Ohio, headquarters of Lincoln Electric, about a mile south of the lakeshore. Lincoln manufactures welding equipment.

The 2.5-MW turbine was made in Germany by Kenersys, now owned jointly by the Indian Kalyani Group and First Reserve Corp., a Connecticut private equity fund. The hub stands 279 feet high, with a total height of 444 feet; the turbine blades are 165 feet long. The system feeds 690 volts DC, inverted to 4,160 volts AC for use in Lincoln’s shops.

The new turbine may be a portent: Kenersys has plans to manufacture turbines in the United States, either in Ohio or Michigan. Lincoln stands to be a vendor to any new factory. Lincoln financed about 76 percent of the $5.9 million project, with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds underwriting the balance.

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