LOGAN COUNTY – More than 60 wind turbines will not be constructed as part of the proposed Scioto Ridge Wind Farm project.
A notice of deletion of turbines filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) Jan. 11 states as a result of settlement with certain intervenors, applicant EverPower will not construct 65 turbines.
An application for the Scioto Ridge project filed in June 2013 proposed to construct more than 170 turbines in Hardin and Logan counties. The OPSB certified the project on March 17, 2014.
The project was appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court in August 2014 before the court dismissed the case on Dec. 18, 2015. Prior to the dismissal, an application to dismiss the appeal was filed by appellant Joseph Grant stating that issues in the dispute had been resolved by settlement.
Project developer Jason Dagger said the removal of turbines from the proposed project will affect the project’s progress.
“It’s great for the company to be able to work with a settlement and work with the intervening parties and everybody come to an agreement,” Dagger said. “We give a lot of credit to them for working with us and I think all of the parties have a mutual understanding that nothing was perfect for everybody, but at the same token we were still able to work through our differences.”
Dagger said the deleted turbines were closest to Indian Lake in Logan County. As part of the settlement negotiations, Dagger said the company took the concerns of the community and their landowners to find a common outcome that would allow for the project to move forward later this year.
Dagger said trying to resolve concerns during a project’s development process is not uncommon and added the company made similar agreements to projects in Pennsylvania.
“Whether it’s a community or an agency that has concerns, the goal is just to find common ground,” Dagger said.
Regarding the remainder of the project, Dagger said it will still be a 225 megawatt project, generate in excess of $1.5 million of tax revenue annually and be an over $250 million investment into the two counties. He added 107 turbines would be constructed as part of the project.
“We hope to be under construction late this year,” Dagger said. “The things that have yet to be done revolve around title engineering, title work and survey work that has to be done on all of the properties … there’s still a lot of work and we’re going through winter here so some of those activities can’t kick off until spring so it will be fall before we can head to construction.”
Outside the Scioto Ridge project, EverPower is developing the Buckeye Wind project, which is proposed to include more than a combined 100 turbines in eastern Champaign County through two phases.
Multiple portions of the project are pending at the Ohio Supreme Court after they were appealed by intervening parties.
Last month, oral arguments regarding the second phase of the Buckeye Wind project were presented to the Ohio Supreme Court. The court can affirm the board’s decision to grant a certificate in the second phase of the project, reverse the decision or remand issues back to the OPSB for further hearing.
After oral arguments in the first phase of the project in September 2011, the court affirmed the board’s decision in March 2012.
Last October, citizen group Union Neighbors United appealed to the state Supreme Court the OPSB’s decision to approve an extension in the first phase of the project, moving the deadline for construction to begin from March 2015 to May 2018.
Champaign County along with Goshen, Union and Urbana townships are appealing an amendment to the first phase of the project to the state Supreme Court.
When asked if similar settlement negotiations have been held with intervenors in the Buckeye Wind project, Dagger said the company would welcome such dialogue.
“We would certainly like to have those discussions,” Dagger said. “We are very open to those discussions.”
Speaking on the economic viability of the Buckeye Wind project if a significant number of turbines were deleted or removed, Dagger said a number of factors come into play in determining the economic viability. These include the factors that go into building a wind farm, such as determining wind speed and spacing.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.