Ohio approves site for 300 MW wind power project

The staff of the Ohio Power Sting Board in a report filed Sept. 4 recommended that the board approve various changes, including new wind turbine models, proposed by Hardin Wind.

In March 2014, the board authorized Hardin Wind to construct a wind-powered facility consisting of up to 172 turbine sites with a combined generation capacity of 300 MW. The project, called the Scioto Ridge Wind Farm, will be located in Hardin and Logan counties.

In this pending application, Hardin Wind proposes to relocate five turbine sites, one meteorological tower, 13 access roads, and six collection lines. Additionally, it proposes to relocate the project collection substation onto a participating landowner’s parcel closer to the interconnection substation. It also proposes two new access roads and seven new collection lines. Finally, it proposes new technologies in the form of two additional turbine models.

The new turbine models proposed are the Suzlon S111 (2.1 MW) and the General Electric 103 (1.7 MW). The proposed Suzlon turbine would have a rotor diameter of 111 meters, a hub height of 90 meters, and an overall tip-height of 479 feet. The proposed GE turbine would have a rotor diameter of 103 meters, a hub height of 96 meters, and an overall tip-height of 486 feet.

The overall project nameplate capacity of 300 MW approved in the original case would not change. Therefore, the actual number of turbines constructed would depend on the capacity of the turbine model selected in order to reach the total generating capacity of 300 MW.

Said the staff report: “The proposed addition of two new turbine models to the list of authorized models would not impact the location of any turbine sites or non-turbine associated facilities. Further, by adding these two new turbine models, the number of turbines installed would not exceed the number of turbine locations or the 300 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.

“With the proposed relocation of five turbine sites and the relocation and addition of non-turbine associated facilities, the Applicant introduces substantial change in the location of these portions of the facility. However, none of the project revisions proposed by the Applicant result in a material increase in socioeconomic or environmental impact of the facility compared to the original certificate. The Applicant has modified the facility layout in a manner that continues to minimize impacts associated with the project.

“Staff recommends that the board approve the application related to the two new wind turbine models and the new and relocated meteorological tower, collector substation, access roads, and collection lines, provided that the certificate continues to include the 28 conditions specified in the Opinion, Order, and Certificate for case number 13-1177-EL-BGN. Staff also recommends that the board approve the relocation of the five turbines, subject to the Applicant’s compliance with the applicable statutory setback requirements, as determined by the board.”

Hardin Wind is a unit of EverPower Wind Holdings. It received from the board a certificate to construct a wind facility (the Scioto Ridge Wind Farm) consisting of 172 turbines, along with access roads, electrical interconnect, construction staging areas, operations and maintenance facilities, and a collection substation. The project is to be located in Lynn, McDonald, Roundhead, and Taylor Creek townships (in Hardin County) and Richland and Rushcreek townships (Logan County).

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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.

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