Press Release

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OEC Statement on the Temporary Pause to the Icebreaker Wind Project, North America’s First Freshwater Off-shore Wind Farm

For Immediate Release:

December 8, 2023


Emily Bacha, OEC or 614-487-5837

COLUMBUS, OH — On Friday, December 8, LEEDCo announced a temporary pause to the Icebreaker Wind Project. The corporation is still exploring future avenues, but in a written statement said the “pause is necessitated by a confluence of adverse circumstances and numerous delays resulting in a current financial climate where the project’s commercial viability is in question.”

The following statement may be attributed, in whole or in part, to Chris Tavenor, Associate General Counsel for the Ohio Environmental Council:

“LEEDCo was ahead of its time when it proposed its Icebreaker Wind Project, the first freshwater offshore wind farm in North America. It represents the innovation we need to reduce carbon emissions and reduce Ohio’s contribution to climate change. For decades, the Ohio Environmental Council has worked to grow Ohio’s renewable energy future by advocating for smart investments that provide Ohioans with clean, affordable energy. For more than ten years, the OEC carefully studied Icebreaker’s proposals, supported its applications at the Ohio Power Siting Board, and fiercely defended it when opposition appealed its approval to the Ohio Supreme Court. Throughout that time, the Icebreaker Wind Project prevailed over significant legal and regulatory challenges, including fossil-fuel-funded opposition. Despite these setbacks, the Icebreaker Wind Project still has the potential to reduce carbon emissions and inject millions into the local economy.

“It is imperative for Ohioans and public officials to understand that regulatory obstructions specifically for solar and wind energy significantly contributed to Icebreaker’s current status. During legal proceedings, evidence definitively revealed that the coal company, Murray Energy, helped finance legal representation for oppositional intervenors. And during the Ohio Power Siting Board’s official review, then PUCO Chair Sam Randazzo injected a poison pill “shutdown condition” into the final decision, slowing down the process for months. Mr. Randazzo was recently indicted for bribery and other crimes related to his time at the PUCO, and it’s worth asking how his public corruption scandal similarly impacted his role at the Ohio Power Siting Board.

“While we are disappointed by the temporary pause of this innovative clean energy project, we remain optimistic about the potential of offshore wind for Ohio and other Great Lakes states. LEEDCo’s innovation represents the best of what Ohio has to offer in Ohio’s transition to a just and sustainable clean energy economy. We will continue to offer our support to Ohioans as they attempt bold climate solutions in our country’s transition toward a net-zero carbon economy. The OEC remains committed to advocating for a regulatory climate that makes projects like Icebreaker Wind commercially viable, bringing essential environmental and economic benefits to all who call Ohio home.”


The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) is the state’s most comprehensive and effective environmental advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Ohio. The OEC develops and ensures the implementation of forward-thinking, science-based, pragmatic solutions to secure healthy air, land, and water for all who call Ohio home.