OPSB approves Buckeye II Wind Farm

COLUMBUS, OHIO (May 28, 2013) – The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) today modified and approved Champaign Wind, LLC’s request to construct the Buckeye II Wind Farm in Champaign County.  In its decision, the Board authorized Champaign to build wind turbines at 52 of 56 proposed locations across 13,500 acres of leased private land in Goshen, Rush, Salem, Union, Urbana, and Wayne townships.  The facility will be capable of generating up to 140 megawatts of electricity.

“With the certification and construction of new generating facilities like the Buckeye II Wind Farm, Ohio continues to make strides to comply with the requirements of Senate Bill 221,” Chairman Todd A. Snitchler stated.  “While we will continue to rely on traditional base load generation from coal, other resources such as natural gas and wind power are beginning to play a valuable role.”

Following careful consideration of the issues presented in this case, the Board found that the Buckeye II Wind Farm meets the eight criteria established by Ohio law for new generating facilities in the state. In addition, the wind farm will have a positive impact on Champaign County, the townships, and local communities through the collection of additional tax revenue.  The facility represents the minimum adverse environmental impacts as required by law, with appropriate conditions applied during construction and operation of the facility.  The wind farm is also consistent with the regional goal of continued agricultural activity and farmland preservation within the project area.

Champaign Wind is required to implement 72 conditions that will be monitored and enforced by the Board.  Among these conditions, the Board denied construction of four proposed turbines that conflict with setback requirements.  Other conditions address a variety of issues including shadow flicker, noise, construction damage to roads and agricultural land, and decommissioning of the facility.

Champaign Wind submitted an application to construct the Buckeye II Wind Farm to the Board on May 15, 2012.  The Board’s staff filed its report of investigation on Oct. 10, 2012. The Board held a local public hearing in North Lewisburg on Oct. 25, 2012.  This hearing was attended by more than 200 local residents, and 45 people testified.  The adjudicatory hearing for the case began on Nov. 8, 2012, and was completed on Dec. 6.  This hearing included the examination of 36 witnesses and produced 3,010 pages of testimony.

Under Ohio’s alternative energy portfolio standard, 25 percent of electricity sold in Ohio must be generated from alternative energy sources by 2025. 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. With the addition of the Buckeye II Wind Farm, the OPSB has approved certificates for 10 wind farms across the state totaling 639 turbines and 1,302 megawatts of generation capacity.

Additional information regarding the Buckeye II Wind Farm is available on the Board’s website at www.OPSB.ohio.gov  (OPSB case number 12-0160-EL-BGN). The  Buckeye I Wind Farm, also located in Champaign County, was approved by the Board in 2010.  An amendment to the Buckeye I Wind Farm is currently pending before the Board.