Apex Clean Energy is seeking to erect three test towers in Botetourt County, Va., which would collect weather data for the proposed 80-MW Rocky Forge wind project, a Virginia newspaper has reported.
The Roanoke Times reported July 29 that Apex recently applied for a building permit for the weather towers although a lawsuit has been filed in Botetourt County that challenges a recently-passed ordinance that would allow utility-scale wind power projects in the county.
The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors adopted wind power-related changes in its zoning ordinance at its June 23 meeting, following a public hearing, according to the county’s website. The county policy states that individual turbines shall not exceed 550 feet in height.
The website for Apex, which is based in Charlottesville, Va., predicts that Rocky Forge will probably be completed in either 2017 or 2018. The 80-MW project is expected to generate enough energy to power up to 20,000 homes annually.
Apex says that the Rocky Forge site is located on private land near existing high-voltage electric transmission lines.
Apex Clean Energy is also pursuing the 180-MW Pinewood Wind project in nearby Pulaski County, Va. Pinewood is also targeted for commercial operation in the 2017-to-2018 time period. Both Botetourt and Pulaski County are located in mountainous areas near Roanoke, Va.