The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) recently approved applications from three companies to construct or expand generating facilities in Ohio. The board’s approval authorizes the construction of a major wind farm in Champaign County, the construction of a new natural gas-fired facility in Oregon, Ohio, and the expansion of an existing facility in Vinton County.

Rolling Hills Generating, LLC will convert four existing simple-cycle combustion turbines into combined cycle turbines at its natural gas-fired electric generating facility in Wilkesville, Ohio. Through this conversion to combined-cycle mode, excess heat generated by four of the five existing gas turbine-generator sets will be used to generate steam for two new steam turbine-generator sets. As a result, the Rolling Hills Generating Station's emissions will decrease while the amount of electricity it produces will increase from 860 megawatts to 1,414 megawatts using the same amount of fuel. Bricker & Eckler Partner Sally Bloomfield served as counsel on this project.

The OPSB also authorized Oregon Clean Energy, LLC to construct the $860 million, 799 megawatt Oregon Clean Energy Center. The facility will generate electricity using advanced gas turbine and combined-cycle technology. Construction should begin this month, and the facility is expected to come online in May 2016. In addition to 532 construction industry jobs, the project will create 25 full-time jobs and is expected to generate approximately $15.4 million in state and local taxes. Bloomfield also served as counsel on this project, which was approved on an expedited basis after the application was filed in January 2013.

Finally, the board approved construction of 52 of the 56 wind turbines proposed for Champaign County by EverPower Renewables — four were denied for failing to meet setback requirements. Spanning 13,500 acres of leased private land in Goshen, Rush, Salem, Union, Urbana and Wayne townships, the Champaign Wind, LLC Buckeye II Wind Farm is expected to produce up to 140 megawatts of electricity. The board required that the company implement 72 conditions related to issues such as construction damage, shadow flicker, noise and the decommissioning of the facility.