Dan’s Mountain Wind Force seeks Maryland okay for up to 59.5-MW project

Dan’s Mountain Wind Force LLC applied Jan. 14 at the Maryland Public Service Commission for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) to construct a wind facility in Allegany County, Maryland, with a nominal rating of up to 59.5 MW.

Dan’s Mountain also requested: a waiver of the two-year notice requirement; consideration of its application under a timeline that would permit construction to commence in the fall of 2016; and a finding by the commission that its issuance of a CPCN in this matter preempts the application of Allegany County’s land use ordinance, which would otherwise preclude construction of the project.

Dan’s Mountain is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Laurel Renewable Partners LLC, a privately-held developer of renewable energy projects out of Pennsylvania.

The project has been in development since 2001 and will include three arrays of wind turbines to be erected parallel to and upwind of the northwesterly facing slope of Dan’s Mountain. The proposed facility will consist of 17 utility-scale turbines, each mounted on a free-standing tubular tower to achieve the optimal high wind speed and capacity factor. At present, turbine models are expected to be General Electric (GE) 1.79-100, GE 2.4- 107, or a combination of both models. However, other models may be considered as wind turbine technology continues to advance.

While the project is currently planned with three GE 1.79-100 turbines plus fourteen GE 2.4-107 turbines (for a nominal capacity of 39 MW), the project could be constructed with 3.5 MW turbines in the same locations for a total of up to 59.5 MW of capacity. Each turbine will be connected to a pad-mounted transformer at its base, which will convert the power to a voltage that can be received by a new on-site substation.

The site is located in western Allegany County and is composed of 28 privately-owned, leased parcels totaling approximately 2,800 acres located three to four miles southeast of the City of Frostburg and about seven miles southwest of the City of Cumberland.

The company said that project approval prior to the fall of 2016 would allow for the completion of construction and achievement of operations before the end of 2017, thereby providing Dan’s Mountain the ability to contribute to the Maryland Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard’s Renewable Energy Credit requirements and obtain favorable tax treatment in the form of the federal production tax credit (PTC).

Dan’s Mountain obtained a CPCN exemption for the project in 2009, with subsequent extensions of the exemption, premised on the project being allowed under Allegany County land use requirements. However, despite the company’s efforts to cooperate with local land use requirements, including obtaining authorization from all neighboring landowners (with a residential structure within 2,000 feet of the turbines or any structure within 1,000 feet of the turbines), and engaging in lengthy proceedings before the Allegany County Board of Zoning Appeals, Allegany County has denied an application for a special exception and variances that would allow construction of the project. So the project cannot proceed under the previously-granted CPCN exemption. Dan’s Mountain is filing this Jan. 14 application because a CPCN would preempt local Allegany County land use ordinances, which would otherwise prohibit not only this project, but any similar wind energy project proposed in Allegany County.

A company contact is: David K. Friend, Dan’s Mountain Wind Force LLC, 645 E. Pittsburgh Street, #356, Greensburg, PA 15601, dkfriend@laurelrenewable.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.