The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) on May 28 modified and approved Champaign Wind LLC’s request to construct the up to 140-MW Buckeye II Wind Farm in Champaign County.
The board authorized Champaign to build wind turbines at 52 of 56 proposed locations across 13,500 acres of leased private land in Goshen, Rush, Salem, Union, Urbana and Wayne townships. The facility will be capable of generating up to 140 MW.
“With the certification and construction of new generating facilities like the Buckeye II Wind Farm, Ohio continues to make strides to comply with the requirements of Senate Bill 221,” Board Chairman Todd Snitchler stated. “While we will continue to rely on traditional base load generation from coal, other resources such as natural gas and wind power are beginning to play a valuable role.”
The board found that the Buckeye II Wind Farm meets the eight criteria established by Ohio law for new generating facilities in the state. The wind farm will also have a positive impact on Champaign County, the townships, and local communities through the collection of additional tax revenue.
Champaign Wind is required to implement 72 conditions that will be monitored and enforced by the board. Among these conditions, the board denied construction of four proposed turbines that conflict with setback requirements. Other conditions address a variety of issues including shadow flicker, noise, construction damage to roads and agricultural land, and eventual decommissioning of the facility.
Champaign Wind submitted its application to construct the Buckeye II Wind Farm to the board in May 2012. The board held a local public hearing in October 2012, which was attended by more than 200 local residents.
Under Ohio’s alternative energy portfolio standard, 25% of electricity sold in Ohio must be generated from alternative energy sources by 2025. At least half of this energy must come from renewable energy sources, including wind, and one half of the renewable energy facilities must be located in Ohio. With the addition of the Buckeye II Wind Farm, the board has approved certificates for 10 wind farms across the state totaling 639 turbines and 1,302 MW.
The Buckeye I Wind Farm, also located in Champaign County, was approved by the board in 2010. An amendment to the Buckeye I Wind Farm approval is currently pending before the board.
Champaign Wind is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EverPower Wind Holdings Inc.
In its application. Champaign proposed to install one of six models of turbines for the Buckeye II project: the REpower MM100, REpower MM92, Nordex N100, Gamesa G97, General Electric 100, or GE103. Champaign explained that, because construction is not scheduled to begin until 2013, and, due to changing market factors such as availability and cost, a specific turbine model could not be selected at the time the application was submitted. The six turbines under consideration have nameplate ratings ranging from 1.6 MW to 2.5 MW. Champaign expects a project capacity factor ranging from 30% to 35%.