Virginia Commission Approves First Wind Farm in State

December 31, 2007

Virginia's State Corporation Commission (SCC) has granted approval to the first wind-powered electric generation facility in the commonwealth, on condition that environmental impacts are minimized. The decision will move the state closer to realizing the renewable energy potential of its wind resources, rated as good-to-excellent by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Highland New Wind Development, LLC, based in Harrisonburg, is planning to build and operate the wind farm on 200 acres in Highland County. The site is on a mountain ridge in north central Virginia, near the West Virginia border. The $60 million facility will include 20 turbines that will produce up to 39 megawatts of electricity.

The conditions of approval include post-construction wildlife monitoring by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The monitoring plan includes daily monitoring of bird and bat mortality at 10 randomly selected sites at various times of the year. Highland Wind will pay for the monitoring and any mitigation measures necessary to protect the avian species.

For more information, see the SCC December 20 press release (PDF 25 KB), the SCC order (PDF 1.1 MB), and a wind resource map of Virginia, created by DOE's Wind Powering America initiative. Download Adobe Reader.

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