Proposed Botetourt Co. wind farm gets final permit, construction could begin this winter

Roanoke Valley News

BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Wind turbines could be coming to a portion of Botetourt County in the near future, marking the first onshore wind project in Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) granted the final permit for the Rocky Forge Wind project. Apex Clean Energy, the company in charge of the project, has been working to build turbines atop North Mountain in Botetourt County for several years. The wind farm was first proposed in 2015.

There have been several debates and open houses about the wind project for the past several years. Opponents of the project have noted the wind turbines can endanger wildlife, make too much noise, and disrupt the natural landscape.

The approval from the DEQ modified the project’s construction to operating taller, yet fewer, turbines. The modification now allows from up to 22 turbines at 680 feet.

Apex Clean Energy says the Rocky Forge Wind farm would power up to 21,000 homes and provide up to $25 million in state and county tax revenue over the life of the project

According to independent analysis from the research firm Mangum Economics, Rocky Forge Wind will create approximately 250 full-time jobs and seven well-paid permanent positions.

Rocky Forge Wind is on track to start site preparation work this winter.

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