State board to review Buckeye wind farm certificate today

The Ohio Power Siting Board will decide today whether to extend the certificate for the first phase of the Buckeye Wind Project.

Everpower Renewables, the company in charge of the project, has sought an extension of the certificate citing several ongoing legal fights over various aspects of the project. However, opponents of the project, as well as Champaign County prosecutors and some townships, have argued the OPSB should reject those requests because the company has already had a chance to request an extension and because there are two phases of the project that should be treated separately.

The certificate for the first phase of the project expires next spring. Everpower has sought an extension until May 28, 2018. If the certificate expires before construction begins, Everpower would have to start the lengthy certification process from the beginning.

If both phases of the project are built, the wind farm would include about 100 turbines spread across Champaign County. It would provide enough energy to power about 50,000 homes a year and could pump as much as $55 million into the local economy. However, opponents have raised concerns about the project’s safety and its proximity to homes in the project area.

The OPSB is scheduled to meet at 3:30 p.m. Monday in its offices at 180 E. Broad St. in Columbus.

Both phases of the project have already been approved by the OPSB. However, opponents and county prosecutors have appealed the decision to approve the second phase before the Ohio Supreme Court. Both sides are expected to present arguments before the Supreme Court later this year.

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