VAN WERT – Work continues toward building another wind farm in Van Wert County.
BP Wind’s Roger Brown met with township trustees and the Van Wert County Commissioners on Tuesday to give an update on the proposed Long Prairie Wind Farm. Unlike Timber Road Wind Farm in Paulding County and Blue Creek Wind Farm in Paulding and northern Van Wert counties, this development is targeted for the southern portion of the county.
“The heart of it will be York and Liberty [townships], but I’m fairly certain it will spill into the adjacent townships, at least in part,” Brown revealed.
BP Wind will be applying to build a 200 megawatt (MW) wind farm. The application process must be completed before the end of the year to qualify. At that point it will take at least seven months before the project could get approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board.
“That gets us toward August. Then we can start prepping for construction, then build in 2014,” Brown reported.
The number of turbines involved in the wind farm will depend on the model of turbine selected for the site. Brown indicated, “One of the things we are looking at is a 2.3 MW model. That would mean 87 turbines for 200 MW. I’m not suggesting that’s what we are going to use, but it is what is high on our list.
That 2.32 MW model is made by Siemens, but Brown also said he expects a new model from General Electric which could be 2.3 MW or higher.
Although BP has already enough leases in place to put up turbines to crank out more than 200 MW of power, the company is still leasing land. First, additional land leases will give the company flexibility as to where the wind farm will be situated. And second, Brown stated that he is hoping to have another phase of 100-150 more MW adjacent to the first phase location.
“We haven’t filed for any additional transmission studies, but we’ve done our own in-house to know that we think we’re okay,” Brown stated.
If all goes as planned, the Prairie Creek Wind Farm would be constructed during 2014. Brown said that BP is almost ready to start looking at making a road agreement with the county and to start looking at how the turbines will be transported to the site. With the county being declared an Alternate Energy Zone at the time of the beginning of construction of the Blue Creek project, the same Payment In Lieu Of Taxation (PILOT) system would be in place. That plan would bring up to $9,000 per MW generated into the county coffers to be split among townships, school districts, and the county itself.
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