Wind farms located in Ohio, if they are five megawatts (MW) or more, require that the Ohio Power Siting Board (Board) issue a certificate to construct and operate. The Board process has taken 8 to 12 months, but the first few applicants requested delays in their cases. A certificate issued by the Board typically contains 60 or more conditions that must be met by the applicant at various stages: preconstruction, construction and operation.
Though the rules governing wind farm applications were issued in late 2008, they did not contain a number of policies that have since been developed by the Board in the first few cases and now have become precedent. For example, noise, shadow flicker, setback and decommissioning standards have evolved in the six wind farm cases that the Board has approved to date.
Currently, the Timber Road project located in Paulding and Van Wert Counties, developed by Horizon Wind Energy, LLC, now known as EDP Renewables, North America, LLC is the only one in commercial operation, having begun in July 2011. A neighboring project, Blue Creek Wind Farm, developed by Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., is expected begin commercial operational by March 2012. Together, these projects will generate approximately 400 MW. EDP Renewables has plans to add more turbines later in the Timber Road area (a second approved application).
In addition to these projects, three more have been approved. One of these, Buckeye Wind, a subsidiary of EverPower Wind Holdings, Inc., will be located in Champaign County and was the first project the Board approved. When built, it will generate up to 175 MW. This case is the only one that has been contested and is on appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court but has yet to be argued.
Another project, Hardin Wind Farm, of which Invenergy Wind Development, LLC is the developer, recently had an amendment approved by the Board. According to public records, it begins construction sometime this fall for the first of three phases, which will constitute approximately 211 MW of the approved 300 MW.
A final approved project, for approximately 50 MW in Hardin County to be developed by juwi Wind, was combined with a second juwi Wind project in Harding County, Hog Creek, which will provide approximately 18 MW. That project is currently awaiting Board decision so no construction has begun.
In addition to the Hog Creek project, which appears to be ripe for Board decision in the fall of 2011, three other applications are in the early stages of the certification process. These include:
- Glacier Ridge Wind Farm in Hardin and Logan Counties, to be developed by E.ON Climate and Renewables, NA, for up to 200 MW;
- Ashtabula Wind Energy, to be developed for up to 50 MW on a brownfield site in Ashtabula County by Apex Wind Energy Holdings, LLC;
- NextEra Energy Honey Creek in Seneca and Crawford Counties, for up to 185 MW to be developed by NextEra Energy Resources.
These three projects are in the pre-application stages. Leipsic Wind, LLC another Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. project has filed its application in late July 2011 for approval of up to 110 MW in Putnam County. Assuming the three developers file their applications soon and that the projects receive Board approval, all four of these projects could be completed by the end of 2012.