KENTON — A Hardin County wind farm was recently granted more time to begin construction due to energy market changes.
The Ohio Power Siting Board approved a request to extend Hog Creek Wind Farm’s certificate to 2018 on Monday.
The farm asked for the extension of its Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need due to “recent changes to Ohio’s energy market” and its progress developing the project, according to the motion for extension from the farm.
The farm, previously owned by JW Great Lakes Wind, LLC, plans to install about 31 wind turbines on 3,400 acres in Hardin County, according to the Ohio Power Siting Board’s website. The board originally approved the plans March 22, 2010.
The farm still has to secure more financing and complete design and engineering plans before construction can begin, according to the request for extension.
Hardin County Commissioner Brice Beaman said company representatives told commissioners that many things need to “fall into place” before construction starts. It will begin late this year or early in 2016, he said.
Changes in the energy market was the main reason cited for the extension, according to the extension request from juwi Wind, LLC, the Colorado-based owner of the farm.
“The wholesale electricity market in Ohio dramatically changed with the advent of increasing supplies of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays,” according to the request. “At the same time, there has been an overall, lower demand for electricity due to the general economic downturn.”
“Other factors make it now more favorable for the Hog Creek Wind Farm to succeed,” though the shale will continue to affect energy markets, the farm’s request to the board states.
Those factors include increased U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, allowing the farm to supply important replacement generation capacity in an environmentally friendly manner.
Ed Elliott, another Hardin County Commissioner, said the project should be positive for the county.
Representatives of Hog Creek and juwi could not be reached for comment Thursday.