It won’t be long before the tall white towers of a commercial wind energy plant begin to appear on the landscape across a wide swath of northeastern Potter County.
Big Level Wind recently filed for a state stormwater management permit connected with the land disturbance the project will create in Hector and Harrison townships.
It’s just one in a series of regulatory hurdles the company must cross before proceeding with construction. Company officials say none of them is a deal-breaker.
In August, the Federal Aviation Administration signed off on the project, moving it a step closer to reality. FAA consent was required because wind turbines will be nearly 660 feet high, which will rank them among the tallest in the world. For comparison, the Statue of Liberty measures 305 feet from the ground to the top of its torch.
Eolian Renewable Energy LLC is proposing to erect 26 of the towers on a 7,000-acre forested region in the Dodge Hollow/White Knoll area off Rt. 49. Eolian struck a deal with the landowner, a John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company forestland investment subsidiary, to build the generating facility.
Electricity will be fed into the grid through a First Energy line.
Big Level Wind has a price tag of about $150 million. Sparsely populated Hector Township will receive an annual host agreement fee and annual payments based on the amount of electricity that is generated.