Green Light for 191 Planned Wind Turbines in Ohio

By James Cartledge at BrighterEnergy:

Just a few months after granting permission for Ohio’s first large-scale wind projects, state regulators have given the green light to two more large wind farm developments.

From a standing start, Ohio has now approved 882.2MW of new wind generating capacity

Together, the proposals would provide almost 400 megawatts of new generating capacity.

Ohio Power Siting Board approved developments by Iberdrola Renewables and Horizon Wind Power last week, which would see 191 new wind turbines installed.

The Board approved the 350MW Blue Creek Wind Farm project, planned by Iberdrola’s Heartland Wind LLC subsidiary, comprising 159 turbines spread across 1,700 acres of Paulding and Van Wert counties.

And, the second approved project was the 48.6MW Timber Road Wind Farm, proposed by Horizon-subsidiary Paulding Wind Farm LLC, taking the form of 32 wind turbines across 5,700 acres of northwest Paulding County.

The two new wind projects would help the state of Ohio to meet its alternative energy portfolio standard target, which requires utilities to supply a quarter of their power from alternative sources – half of this from renewable sources.

The approvals come just five months after Ohio’s regulators consented the state’s first large-scale wind projects (see this story).

Five wind farms have now been certificated in the state, totaling 472 turbines and up to 882.2MW generating capacity.

Blue Creek

Oregon-based Iberdrola filed its application for the Blue Creek project back in December 2009, with a public hearing held in the summer.

Following concerns about various impacts from the project, a series of 61 mitigation conditions were set out for the wind farm’s approval.

This included relocation or resizing of eight turbines to offer additional setback distance from infrastructure, measures to reduce shadow flicker effects and noise where necessary, as well as impacts on TV reception.

Iberdrola is expecting to begin construction on the wind farm this fall, along with work on four new electric substations and underground power lines.

“Blue Creek Wind Farm is a significant addition to Ohio’s growing portfolio of clean, renewable energy facilities,” said OPSB Chairman Alan R. Schriber. “The wind farm will play an important role in assuring our state meets its new alternative energy portfolio standard.”

Timber Road

The Timber Road Wind Farm had its application reviewed since filing in January 2010, with a local hearing in June.

The project has also been set a number of mitigating requirements to lessen its impacts in certain respects including shadow flicker, noise and local environment.

Construction looks set to begun in early 2011, along with the building of a new transformer substation by Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy, part of Portuguese energy firm EDP.

“The certification of Timber Road Wind Farm marks another important step on Ohio’s road to a cleaner renewable energy future,” said Mr Schriber.

Kristin Tracz

About Kristin Tracz

Kristin Tracz served MACED’s Research and Policy team from 2009-2012 working on clean energy policy, energy efficiency programs and the Appalachian Transition Initiative. She joined MACED after finishing her Master of Environmental Management degree at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She now lives and works in Washington, DC.