EverPower Wind Holdings submitted an amendment to the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) Tuesday related to the first phase of the Buckeye Wind Farms project in Champaign County.
The amendment proposes that power lines would be installed under private property of contracted landowners instead of using utility poles in rights of way.
The amendment also proposes the move of the staging areas inside the siting boundaries of the project’s second phase.
“When we permitted the first phase, we had plans to use overhead lines in the public rights of way to transmit the power out,” said Jason Dagger, project manager of the Buckeye Wind Farms. “Now, today, since we filed that first application, we have the ability to put those lines buried on private land with the help of private land owners that we have negotiated all those rights for that land.”
The amendment states the company previously planned on working extensively with Dayton Power and Light to arrange for the construction, operation and maintenance of the above-ground portions of the 34.5 kilo-volt electrical collection lines associated with the facility.
The amendment further states the majority of relocated collection lines will be constructed in the same collection line routes as those in the Buckeye II project.
The initial application called for 39.8 miles of overhead collection lines in public rights of way and 25.6 miles of underground collection lines. The proposed change would result in 42.3 miles of underground collection lines and no overhead lines.
In regards to the staging area, the amendment seeks to relocate and re-size three staging areas for the project.
Initially, all construction staging areas were planned to be 3.75 acres for the Buckeye I project, but the amendment proposes that two construction staging areas would be relocated at the landowners’ requests on the same parcels as currently permitted. The third parcel is proposed to be relocated 1.3 miles to a separate parcel on which the applicant has rights to install a construction staging area.
The amendment states the relocation and resizing of the staging areas will allow both projects to use the same staging areas.
One staging area previously at the intersection of state Route 814 and U.S. Route 36 now is proposed at the intersection of U.S. Route 36 and Three Mile Road on a parcel previously identified for a wind turbine.
The two other staging areas would be relocated within the same parcel in which they previously were located. One staging area would be on state Route 56 and Pisgah Road, while another would be located on U.S. Route 36 and Perry Road.
Urbana Law Director Gil S. Weithman said the city is concerned about the location of the staging area on U.S. Route 36 and Three Mile Road and how it may interfere with or damage a proposed sewer line in the area.
Earlier this month, the City Council agreed to accept a sewer extension along U.S. Route 36 to Robert Rothschild Farm.
“We want to put that sewer line in there … Originally for (the Buckeye Wind project), it wasn’t going to be their staging area,” Weithman said.
As part of the proposed extension, the city, county commissioners and Rothschild will pay toward the project.