Several local residents on April 22 asked the Ohio Power Siting Board for a rehearing of its March 24 decision to grant Black Fork Wind Energy LCC’s motion to amend a material condition of its January 2012 Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need.
That decision granted a two-year deadline extension for Black Fork to commence construction of its 200-MW facility, from Jan. 23, 2017, to Jan. 23, 2019. The specific grounds for the April 22 rehearing request are:
- The decision is unlawful and unreasonable because it purports to amend an express, material term of the January 2012 certificate without complying with the statutorily-required procedure for amending a certificate.
- The decision is unlawful and unreasonable because the board lacks the authority to alter, waive, or otherwise dispense with the statutorily-required procedure for amending a certificate.
- The decision is unlawful and unreasonable because Black Fork has failed to show good cause for an extension of the certificate by motion or otherwise.
- The certificate-amendment-by-motion granted by the board is unlawful and unreasonable because it illegally allows Black Fork’s evasion of the facility setback requirements that were added to state code in 2014, after the original certificate was issued.
In 2011, Black Fork filed an application for the certificate to construct the Black Fork Wind Energy Project in Crawford and Richland counties, Ohio, consisting, in part, of up to 91 wind turbines, access roads, an electric collection substation, and an underground electric collection system.
In 2014, Black Fork filed a motion in this case seeking to have the board extend the term of its certificate for two additional years, from January 23, 2017, to January 23, 2019, Black Fork argued that the extension requested is warranted for two reasons: to recoup the nearly two years of construction time that was lost while the intervenors’ appeal was under consideration by a state court; and also because Black Fork’s ability to proceed with the project has been hampered by recent energy market changes in Ohio.