COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/WJW) — The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld a company’s plan to build what will be the first freshwater offshore wind-powered electric-generation facility in North America.

The company, Icebreaker Windpower, has proposed the six-turbine project in Lake Erie about ten miles off the shore of Cleveland.

The court on Wednesday rejected a lawsuit filed by residents of a Cleveland area village who argued the Ohio Power Siting Board didn’t have enough evidence to determine the project’s environmental impact when it approved the project in 2020.

The residents also unsuccessfully argued the project doesn’t serve the public interest as defined in Ohio law.

According to the company, the turbines would have minimal visual impact and not be visible on most days. On a clear day, a person standing on the downtown Cleveland lakeshore holding their arm out would see turbines no taller than half a thumbnail, they say.

The project has received approvals from agencies including the Ohio EPA, the US Department of Energy, the Federal Aviation Administration, the US Coast Guard, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Ohio Power Siting Board. It is endorsed by the Ohio Environmental Council, the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund, bipartisan officials from around the state, and others.  

It’s anticipated to create 500 jobs.