Parties reach deal on Beech Ridge Energy II wind farm in W.Va.

A settlement between parties has apparently cleared the way for the West Virginia Public Service Commission to vote on an approval for the Beech Ridge Energy II LLC wind farm project in Greenbrier County.

Beech Ridge Energy II, PSC staff and the West Virginia Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO, joined in the agreement, which was filed with the commission on Feb. 27. Their “Joint Stipulation” resolves all of the issues in this proceeding, and recommends that the commission grant the company its requested siting certificate as modified by the removal of turbine sites 2, 3, and alternate 3.

In August 2012, Beech Ridge filed with the commission the application for the construction and operation of a facility in Greenbrier County consisting of not to exceed 33 wind turbine generators and ancillary facilities on 33 of 47 sites (33 primary and 14 alternate sites). The Building Trades group then filed a petition to intervene.

The agreement includes various mandates, including that the siting certificate becomes invalid if BRE II has not commenced a continuous course of construction within five years of the date the final certificate is granted or has not completed construction by the 10th year without petitioning the PSC for approval to expand these time frames. There are also various restrictions in areas like project noise.

Beech Ridge Energy II told the commission this is a $115m facility. The site is near the 67 existing turbines constructed by Beech Ridge Energy LLC. Adding 33 turbines will not increase the number of turbines or total megawatts that the commission approved in 2006 for the first project, the company said. The land is owned by MeadWestvaco Corp. and is primarily managed for timber production.

Beech Ridge II is owned by Invenergy Wind Development North America LLC. Its project would involve 53.46 MW (but not to exceed 85.5 MW) of wind turbine capacity consisting of up to 33 wind turbines each with a rated capacity of 1.62 MW (but not to exceed 2.5 MW).

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.