Federal agency reviews permit for Maryland wind project

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to write an environmental assessment (EA) on the 90-MW Great Bay Energy Project, which will be a wind farm in Maryland.

The EA will address the potential impacts of the issuance of a programmatic eagle take permit, covering facility construction and then operation, under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The Service, through a notice to be published in the Jan. 2 Federal Register, will open the public scoping period where it will take public comment on what should be covered by the EA.

Public comment will be taken for 30 days beyond Jan. 2. There will also be a scoping meeting held on Jan. 15 in Westover, Maryland. The draft EA is expected to be completed and available to the public in 2014.

Great Bay Wind I LLC, a subsidiary of Lavaca Wind LLC, which is an affiliate of Pioneer Green Energy LLC, has applied for this permit. The applicant would own, construct, and operate the project.

The project would be located on 12,046 acres of private agricultural lands in Somerset County, Maryland, and would consist of 25 wind turbine generators, access roads, an electrical collection system, an operations and maintenance building, a switchyard, and a substation. It would generate up to 90 MW and is anticipated to have a lifespan of up to 30 years, the Service said.

The project website shows that as being a larger facility than the Service mentioned. “Great Bay Wind Energy Center is a proposed 150-megawatt wind farm project currently under development that, when constructed, will utilize the naturally occurring and inexhaustible coastal winds in Somerset County, Maryland to produce clean, domestic electricity,” said the website. “The project is being developed by Pioneer Green Energy, LLC, a renewable energy development company whose principals have successfully developed over 2,700 megawatts (MW) of wind energy projects across the United States.”

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.