Horizon given approval for 150MW Ohio project

UNITED STATES: A green light has been given to Horizon Wind Energy's planned 150.4MW Timber Road wind project in Ohio.

The go-ahead, granted by the Ohio Power Siting Board, allows construction of the project to proceed as soon as December on 15,000 acres leased in the north-west of the state.

AEP Ohio -- part of American Electric Power - has also signed a long-term 20-year power purchase agreement for power from 99MW of the Timber Road project.

The 99MWs of the project, from which AEP is purchasing the power, will consist of Vestas 1.8MW turbines. Construction is expected to be completed in mid-2011.

The turbines for the remainder of the project have yet to be decided. They will be chosen from among Vestas 1.8 MW turbines, Acciona 1.5 MW turbines or GE's 1.6 MW's, according to local press reports.

The Upper Midwest has more wind projects in development than almost any other US region. That's in part because of new tax breaks and the renewable portfolio standard. Ohio has a goal to source 25% of the state's electricity from renewable resources such as wind by 2025.

Under a law enacted in mid-2010, developers of wind and other renewables projects pay adjustable fees of between $6,000 and $8,000 a year for each megawatt installed, depending on the number of jobs created for Ohio workers. Projects must start construction before January 2012 and produce energy by 2013.