Ohio Power Siting Board approves construction of Hardin Wind Energy project

Ohio Power Siting Board approves construction of Hardin Wind Energy project

Columbus, Ohio (March 22, 2010) – The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) today approved an agreement authorizing Hardin Wind Energy, LLC to construct up to 200 wind turbines in Hardin County.  The facility will have a generation capacity of approximately 300 megawatts.

“The Hardin Wind Energy wind farm will become the largest of its kind in Ohio,” said OPSB Chairman Alan R. Schriber. “The wind farm will play an integral role in assuring Ohio meets new alternative energy portfolio standards by providing clean and renewable energy.”

On July 10, 2009, Hardin filed an application for a certificate to site a wind-powered electric generation facility with the OPSB.   After conducting an investigation of Hardin’s proposal, OPSB Staff submitted a summary of its findings and recommendation to the board on December 21, 2009.  A local public hearing was held on January 5, 2010 in Kenton.

On January 12, 2010, Hardin, OPSB Staff and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation filed an agreement resolving outstanding issues in the case. The agreement recommends the application for approval subject to certain conditions. The agreement detailed 60 recommended conditions intended to mitigate ecological, environmental and social impacts of the project. These conditions include:

  • Hardin must repair damage to agricultural land, including field tile;
  • Hardin must decommission the facility, or individual turbines, at its own expense;
  • Hardin must establish a process to receive complaints about noise and shadow flicker from the public. Hardin will implement mitigation measures to reduce shadow flicker where significant shadow flicker impacts are found to occur;
  • Hardin will install and maintain erosion and sedimentation control measures; and
  • Hardin must promptly repair all impacted roads and bridges following construction. The company must secure a road bond through the Hardin County Engineer’s Office to provide adequate funds to repair these damages.

The construction process, expected to begin in mid-2010, will consist of two phases.  Depending on the turbine model Hardin chooses, the initial phase will consist of up to 157 turbines, and the second phase up to 47. The project also includes a transformer substation, interconnection substation, underground electric collection system and nearly 30 miles of access roads to support the facility.

Under Ohio’s alternative energy portfolio standard, by 2025, 25 percent of electricity sold in Ohio must be generated from alternative energy sources. At least half of this energy must come from renewable energy sources, including wind, and one half of the renewable energy facilities must be located in Ohio. Additional information regarding this project is available on the OPSB Web site at www.OPSB.ohio.gov.

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The OPSB reviews applications for construction of large electric and natural gas facilities in Ohio. The 11-member board is comprised of representatives of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the state departments of Development, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Health, the Ohio General Assembly, and the public. The Chairman of the PUCO also chairs the OPSB.