The staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board on Aug. 13 endorsed a proposed change by Black Fork Wind Energy LLC of the turbine type used at, but not the 200 MW size of, a wind project that the board had approved in a 2011 case that has not yet been built.
Black Fork Wind had been authorized to construct a wind farm with up to 91 wind turbines, with a maximum nameplate capacity of up to 200 MW, in Crawford and Richland counties. The turbine types approved in the original certificate were the Vestas V100 (1.8 MW), the General Electric XLE 1.6-100 (1.6 MW), and the Siemens SWT 2.3- 101 (2.3 MW) models. In this pending application, the company is proposing to add two new turbine models suitable for this project: the Vestas V110 (2.0 MW) turbine and the General Electric 2.3-107 (2.3 MW) turbine.
The overall project nameplate capacity of 200 MW approved in the original case would not change. Likewise, the wind farm facilities would remain the same as certificated in the original case. In addition, the location of the project’s associated facilities, including access roads, collector lines, substation, transmission line tie-in, concrete batch plant, and the operation and maintenance facility remains unchanged.
The company said that since this project was approved, the Vestas V110 and GE 2.3-107 turbine models have become available on the market. It has determined that, given the wind characteristics at many of the intended turbine locations, these turbine models would result in increased productivity for the project. Black Fork Wind has also provided an updated project schedule calling for construction of the facility to commence in October 2016.
The applicant is proposing to add the Vestas V110 turbine with either an 80 meter or 95 meter hub height, and the GE 2.3-107 turbine with either an 80 meter or 94 meter hub height, as suitable turbines for this project. Remaining consistent with the original application, the applicant states that the 80 meter hub height is necessary at 14 turbine locations located near the Shelby Community Airport in order to comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
Said the Aug. 13 staff report: “Upon review, the Application establishes that the turbine locations and other project facility components will not change with this application, and there would be no material increase in any socioeconomic or environmental impact of the facility. Further, by adding a turbine model with greater capacity, the number of turbines installed would not exceed the number of turbine locations or the 200 MW maximum nameplate capacity certificated by the Board in the original application. Staff believes, if either of the two new turbine models were selected, the original conditions of the certificate are adequate to ensure that adverse environmental impacts would continue to be minimized for this project.”
The September 2014 application for this amendment said that Black Fork Wind Energy is a subsidiary of Element Power US LLC out of Portland, Oregon.