Ohio board okays new turbine models for 200-MW Black Fork Wind project

The Ohio Power Siting Board on Aug. 27 approved Black Fork Wind Energy LLC to add two new turbine models to the list of turbine models that are suitable for its plannned wind facility located near Shelby in Crawford and Richland counties, Ohio.

In January 2012, the board granted to Black Fork Wind Energy a certificate to construct this wind facility, to consist of up to 91 wind tturbines and have a 200-MW capacity. The wind farm is to be built on 24,200 acres in Auburn, Jackson, Jefferson, and Vernon townships in Crawford County, and Plymouth, Sandusky, and Sharon townships in Richland County.

In May 2012, intervening parties appealed the board’s decision to the Supreme Court of Ohio, and in December 2013 the Supreme Court affirmed the board’s decision.

In September 2014, the company filed this application, proposing to add the Vestas V110 (2.0 MW) turbine and the General Electric 2.3-107 (2.3 MW) turbine as turbine models suitable for the project. These new turbine models have become available since the application in the Black Fork Certification Case and the new models would increase the productivity of the project. Black Fork explains that both models are less in total height than the models previously approved and that the current conditions in the certificate would be satisfied through use of the two new models.

Specifically, the company states: shadow flicker will remain 30 hours or less at all non-participating receptors; impacts to microwave paths will be reviewed and mitigated; the requirement for operational noise will remain unchanged and both models have technology that reduces sound levels during operation to ensure the project’s noise standard is met; minimum setback requirements are met, given the applicant’s self-imposed residential setback of 1,250 feet and a property line setback of 563 feet tn the application in the Black Fork Certification Case.

Said the board’s Aug. 27 order approving this change: “This application merely permits Black Fork to upgrade the list of possible turbine models in order to take advantage of the latest technological advancements in this field of study. Some of the intervenors raise issues regarding possible variances from the conditions established in the Black Fork Certification Case, such as shadow flicker, noise, ecological impacts, and setback. However, all of those issues were thoroughly reviewed in our Order approving the Stipulation in the Black Fork Certification Case, and, as verified in the Staff Report, none of the requirements established in the certificate will be changed or violated with the technological advancements proposed in this application.”

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. Since then, in December 2014, Capital Power (TSX: CPX) out of Canada bought Element Power and Black Fork is listed as an in-development project on Capital Power’s website.

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.