The Ohio Power Siting Board on Aug. 25 approved a construction deadline extension for the 300-MW Hardin Wind Energy LLC project.
In 2009, Hardin Wind Energy had filed an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to construct a 300-MW wind facility in Hardin County. The board approved the project in March 2010. The order provided that the certificate will become invalid if Hardin has not commenced a continuous course of construction of the facility within five years of the issuance of the certificate.
In August 2013, Hardin filed a motion to extend the term of the certificate for 36 months. In support of this motion, Hardin noted that market forces beyond its control have been largely responsible for the delay in the development of the facility. Hardin stated that suppressed electricity prices undercut Hardin’s ability to enter into a purchase power agreement for the project’s energy and renewable energy credits at a price sufficient to support the financing of the project. Hardin Wind said that it has worked to adapt to changed market conditions by reconfiguring the project design and upgrading the turbine model.
The board in its Aug. 25 order agreed to Hardin’s motion to extend the term of its certificate for a period of 36 months to March 22, 2018.
In a July 17 brief in support of the extension motion, Hardin Wind said: “Although Marcellus and Utica natural gas continues to have a major impact on the wholesale electricity market, other factors are beginning to shape the wholesale electricity market in way that is favorable to Hardin’s proposed project. Most notably, increased regulatory pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has led to the announced retirements of coal plants throughout Ohio. As this generation comes offline, the generation capacity provided by Hardin’s project will provide important replacement generation capacity in an environmentally friendly manner. The Board’s granting of Hardin’s motion to extend will better enable Hardin to make its generation capacity available to Ohio’s consumers.”
Hardin Wind Energy is a subsidiary of Invenergy LLC.