b'THE UNCONTAINEDI n August, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a green light for construction of a modest 20.7MW demonstration wind farm in Lake Erie. The court decision came six years after a public-private partnership won a Department of Energy grant to build the installation, and two years after a few lakeside residents sued to stop it.That delay pales in comparison with whats happening on Lake Ontario. A 380MW project on the Canadian side has been mired in litigation for 11 years, with a Canadian Court of Appeals hearing scheduled for next January.The Great Lakes offers enormous opportunities for wind-powered energy. So far, however, that potential remains totally unfulfilled. While theres some evidence that lakes wind power isnt completely dead in the water, the industry must revive something long dormant.Im hopeful that it will proceed, said Patrick Fullenkamp, a principal with Greentree Consulting, and an authority on wind farms-related supply chains, who was a consulting engineer on the Lake Erie project and who co-produced a study on opportunities there for American suppliers. But I cant make a prediction one way or the other, with all the stuff that has gone on.Great Lakes Wind Power: Trying to be More Than an AfterthoughtThis is a story of lost chances for not just developers, but also North American manufacturers, ports, and logistics providers.Its enormously frustrating because of the [clean energy] opportunity that one sees and the benefits long-term in supply chains and good jobs, said John Kourtoff, CEO of Trillium Power Wind Corp., the developer of that Lake Ontario project and unquestionably the most ambitious of all lakes-related winds farm proponents.Oceanic offshore wind power development is generating more and more positive vibes. Development is ramping up rapidly on the Eastern US seaboard, with ambitious plans as well for the West Coast. Theres a growing realization among American government officials, energy companies and environmental advocates alike that offshore wind power can help propel the transformation to renewable energy. With it will come a major source of economic development. States are now falling over each other to attract related businesses and host manufacturing facilities and staging grounds.By contrast, Great Lakes wind power is barely mentioned in the conversation. It is considered at best an afterthought. Oceanic offshore wind is a proven and growing renewable energy technology that can be sited in proximity to coastal load centers, said a spokesman for New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, in an email.NYSERDA is only now conducting a feasibility study on Great Lakes wind energy potential. The supply chain [for ocean wind] is readily leveraged from around the world and the wind energy potential is substantially larger than that of freshwater wind energy.A Saga of Missed OpportunitiesYet, a decade ago, lakes-related wind power elicited similar talk of immense potential and bountiful opportunities. A 2011 Conference Board of Canada study estimated a total of 35GW of power from wind on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario alone. It set a conservative estimate of 2GW of installed capacity in Ontario waters by 2026, of which 1.6GW was projected to have been up and running by this year. In the US, something called the Great Lakes Wind Energy Consortium came together in 2012. Composed of federal and state bodies, it at the time estimated total Great Lakes wind power potential at an astounding 750GW. A study conducted for the interstate Great Lakes Commission the following year projected more modest possibilities, anywhere from 1 to 5GW installed capacity by 2030.13'