CLEVELAND -- Planners of a proposed Lake Erie wind farm energy program did not get the news they wanted from the federal government.

LEEDCo, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., was vying with projects in other parts of the country for one of three Department of Energy grants of more than $40 million dollars.

Officials had expressed confidence in winning one of the big prizes.

But three other cities in New Jersey, Washington and Virginia got the big awards.

Instead LEEDCo will get at least $3 million and possibly up to $5 million dollars.

Former Congressman Dennis Eckart, who worked on LEEDCo's application, said the big grants would have assured planting wind turbines in the lake.

Sen. Sherrod Brown said, "While it is disappointing that LEEDCo will not receive the Energy Department's full award, these funds are an important step toward Northeast Ohio building the first freshwater offshore wind development in North America."

Other cities' projects involved salt water ocean projects that did not have the freezing and thawing issues facing the Lake Erie "Icebreaker" effort.

Eckart said LEEDCo's project would use turbines made in this country and claimed the winning cities all would use foreign-made turbines.

It will be about 10 days before LEEDCo gets more information about deficiencies in its proposal that caused it to come up short.