Ohio’s first commercial-scale wind farm went live today. EDP Renewables North America’s $175 million, 99-megawatt (MW) Timber Road II Wind Farm will supply electricity to more than 27,000 homes when fully operational.
In addition to generating affordable clean, renewable power from a plentiful natural resource, Timber Road II has produced jobs, income for more than 100 landowners and tax revenue for the local government. More than 60% of the products used to build the wind farm were manufactured in the US.
Strong, steady winds are characteristic of the entire region. A changing business climate and Ohio’s alternative energy standard, which fosters wind and other forms of clean, renewable power, is what prompted EDP to locate the plant outside the city of Payne, just over a county line in Paulding County, according to a Times-Bulletin report.
Local government joined EDP Renewables North America officials and others in officially launching Timber Road II in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday. “The fuel itself is free – wind – and no other fuel can say that,” EDP Renewables North America’s Gabriel Alonso told the Times-Bulletin’s Kirk Dougal.
“We see a big benefit for landowners who will be getting millions of dollars in revenue. It will raise millions for local communities. We are very proud. The one thing you can not discount is that we are right on the border of Ohio. Three miles away (in Indiana) the wind resources are the same. But why we chose (Ohio) has to do with policy.
“The alternative energy standard and the right incentive for utilities to buy wind or solar energy. This is very good for us but very beneficial for consumers and AEP Ohio because they are getting fixed prices for 20 years. Policy matters, it was critical for us to get this project done.”
Ohio’s Renewable and Advanced Energy Portfolio Standard requires that electric distribution and services companies source 25% of the electricity they sell within the state to be generated from alternative energy sources. A minimum 12.5% must come from renewable energy resources, including wind, hydro or biomass, while at least 0.5% must come from solar.
All electric distributors and service providers are required to meet annual renewable and solar energy benchmarks that increase as a percentage of the total electrical power they sell each year. At least half the renewable electricity they sell must be generated at facilities located in Ohio.
Timber Road II is generating about 14MW of electrical power as EDP works to bring the wind farm fully on-line. Vestas 100, 1.8 MW wind turbines are being used.
The American Wind Power Association’s Denise Bode pointed out that a supply chain for the wind farm are already in place right in Ohio, including manufacturing companies for turbine parts and training centers such as the Vantage Career Center to supply maintenance workers.
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