New Creek Wind downsizes West Virginia wind project to 94 MW

New Creek Wind LLC, the new owner of an unbuilt wind project in West Virginia, on Nov. 14 asked the West Virginia Public Service Commission for a waiver so it can make changes, without PSC approval, in the project.

The project was originally controlled by AES New Creek LLC, an affiliate of AES Corp. (NYSE: AES), then was recently sold to EverPower Wind Holdings, which formed New Creek Wind to hold the project.

This wind project, first approved by the commission in 2009, is located in Grant County. New Creek believes these changes are entitled to a waiver because they do not materially affect the project’s viewshed impacts, sound levels, emissions, or other environmental impacts. In the alternative, New Creek asks the commission to certify the revisions as “material modifications.” It would like an order no later than Dec. 22, 2014.

New Creek said it is building a smaller project with reduced environmental and viewshed impacts. The original application requested authority for up to 66 wind turbines with a maximum output of up to 160 MW. The project was assessed based on data reflecting the installation of fifty-three Clipper 2.5 MW Liberty wind turbines, each with a hub height of 80 meters and rotor diameter of 99 meters, for a total height of 129.5 meters with a blade in a vertical position; sixty-six General Electric 1.5 MW turbines, also with a hub height of 80 meters, but with a 77 meter rotor diameter, for a total height of 118.5 meters; or fifty-three 2.5 MW GE turbines, with a hub height of 85 meters and a rotor blade diameter of 100 meters, for a total height of 135 meters.

“New Creek has elected to use forty-seven Gamesa Model G97 2.0 MW turbines, each with a hub height of 78 meters and a rotor diameter of 97 meters, for a total height of approximately 125 meters,” said the Nov. 14 application. “Consequently, the Project will have fewer turbines and a smaller total generating capacity (94 MW, compared with the 160 MW authorized in the Certificate). Moreover, the total turbine and blade height will be shorter (125 meters, as compared with the authorized 135 meters), and the noise impacts on the nearest full-time residence will be approximately 51.3 dBA, within the range of 50.3 dBA to 53.3 dBA projected in the Siting Certificate Application, and less than the EPA recommended limit of 55 dBA.”

The turbines will be built on leased property along seven miles of the New Creek Mountain ridgeline, on leases coveting approximately 4,900 acres of undeveloped woodlands. A shift in location for each Gamesa turbine ranges from zero to 394 feet from the nearest prior turbine location presented in the old Siting Certificate Application.

“Each of these changes is well within the Certificate’s authority, and therefore none requires Commission review,” said the company. “New Creek will continue construction of this Project scope in February 2015 and expects to begin operations before the end of 2015.”

A project contact is: New Creek Wind LLC c/o EverPower Wind Holdings Inc., 1251 Waterfront Place, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, Attention: Michael Speerschneider, (412) 253-9400 (office), (412) 578-9757 (fax), mspeerschneider@everpower.com.

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.