The Ohio Supreme Court today ruled to allow construction of a 24,000-acre wind farm with up to 91 rotary turbines in Crawford and Richland counties.
In a unanimous ruling, the court upheld a decision by the Ohio Power Siting Board approving the application of Black Fork Wind Energy, LLC, to build the facility it says will provide up to 200 megawatts of renewable energy.
The court ruled against a group of residents concerned about their property values, noise, roads and environmental impact. They argued they were denied the opportunity during a Siting Board hearing to cross-examine staff who drafted a report on the project.
Writing for the majority, Justice Sharon Kennedy, disagreed.
“Our review of the record indicates that appellants were permitted to intervene as parties and were actively involved throughout the certification proceeding. They participated in the prehearing and settlement conferences, cross-examined witnesses, testified themselves, and delivered closing arguments at the evidentiary hearing,” Kennedy wrote in the 12-page decision.
“In short, appellants were granted the opportunity to be heard…They disagree with the board’s order and now assert that they could have produced more evidence if they had been given the opportunity to question seven staff members who drafted portions of the staff report.”
The court ruled in a similar case early last year, upholding a decision by the Siting Board to approve Buckeye Wind LLC’s plan to erect 70 turbines on a 9,000-acre wind farm in Champaign County.
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