By Tina Alvey
Public comments are being solicited on the proposed expansion of the Beech Ridge Wind Farm in western Greenbrier County.
Invenergy, Beech Ridge’s parent company, announced plans last year to erect 33 wind turbines on Mead Westvaco-owned property just west of the company’s existing 67-turbine installation.
Beech Ridge Energy II LLC filed an application for a siting certificate with the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) Aug. 24, asking for authorization to construct and operate the expanded $115 million electric generating facility within 2 miles of both Duo and Quinwood.
In September, Erik Duncan, an Invenergy official, told the Greenbrier County Commission that substantial tax revenue would fall to the county if the wind farm expansion gains approval. The county now receives around $400,000 per year from the project. That figure would rise to approximately $600,000 with the 33 additional turbines, Duncan said.
According to documents filed with the PSC, Beech Ridge II estimates that the expansion project will result in about 150 temporary construction jobs.
Construction is projected to begin in July and finish by the end of December, those documents show.
Interested parties are invited to attend a public comment hearing regarding the proposed wind farm expansion Thursday at 7 p.m. at Rainelle Town Hall. All information received at this hearing will become part of the record used by the PSC in determining whether to permit the project to proceed.
Written comments may also be filed by mail, addressed to Sandra Squire, Executive Secretary, P.O. Box 812, Charleston, WV 25323. All written comments should be marked with Case No. 12-1196-E-CS.
The PSC will conduct an evidentiary hearing regarding the requested permit at Commission headquarters in Charleston Feb. 28 and March 1, if necessary, with a decision expected in June.
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