Map showing location of newly approved Timber Road IV Wind Farm in western Paulding County.
By MELINDA KRICK

Progress Editor

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) on authorized Paulding Wind Farm IV LLC to construct the Timber Road IV Wind Farm in western Paulding County. The action was announced on Thursday, Feb. 21.

When completed, the wind farm will bring the total number of wind turbines in the county to over 200 – the largest number in the state.

The Timber Road IV Wind Farm will include up to 37 wind turbines and have a total generating capacity of up to 125.1 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable energy for consumers.

Underground electric collection lines will transfer electricity produced by each turbine to a collection substation that will then connect to the regional transmission grid. Approximately 17 miles of access roads will be constructed to support the facility.

Paulding Wind Farm IV anticipates beginning construction in the second quarter of 2019 and to place the wind farm in service during the fourth quarter of 2019.

EDP Renewables North America LLC filed project pre-application documents with the Ohio Power Siting Board in January 2018. The company hosted a public informational meeting on the project last April at the Black Swamp Nature Center. A public hearing was held in December in Paulding.

EDP has several operational wind-powered generation facilities in Paulding County. EDP completed Ohio’s first industrial-scale wind farm, Timber Road II, near Payne in 2011.

This latest wind farm will be situated across approximately 20,400 acres of private land in Crane, Harrison, Paulding, Blue Creek and Benton townships.

Project developers “determined that the project area is an ideal location through a statewide review of adequate wind resources, access to transmission line locations and availability, landowner and community interest, and evaluation of site suitability, which included a review of the ecological and cultural resources in the area,” Erin Bowser, EDP director of project management, stated in testimony to the siting board.

The company “estimates that construction and operation of the Timber Road IV Project will employ an estimated 215 construction and operation positions for Ohio residents,” Bowser stated.

“Moreover, we expect the Timber Road IV Project to have a significant positive impact on the local tax base, including local school districts and other taxing districts that serve the project area,” according to testimony. “Assuming an estimated nameplate capacity of 125 MWs, the increase in local tax revenues could be as much as $1.1 million annually for the facility.”

In recent years, the trend has been for corporations to enter into agreements with developers to purchase energy generated by clean energy projects. In Paulding County, General Motors is buying power from the Northwest Ohio Wind Project completed in 2018, and Amazon Web Services contracted with EDP for a wind farm that went online in late 2016. No information has been released about a potential buyer for output from Timber Road IV.