The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has approved Apex Clean Energy’s “Permit by Rule” (PBR) application for the Rocky Forge Wind project, marking the first time such a project has received the statewide approval and a key milestone for Virginia’s clean energy economy.
Rocky Forge Wind is a 75-to-80-megawatt project located in a remote section of northern Botetourt County. The project will provide enough electricity to power up to 20,000 homes annually while providing $20 million to $25 million in state and local tax revenue throughout the project’s life and creating jobs during construction and beyond.
“Wind energy will help drive the Virginia economy forward, especially in terms of creating great jobs,” said Mark Goodwin, president and CEO of Apex Clean Energy. “In addition to new opportunities related to the construction and operation of Rocky Forge Wind in Botetourt County, Apex employs more than 200 people today in Charlottesville. Linked with competitive pricing and clear evidence that new clean energy generation attracts major corporate investment, Rocky Forge Wind is set to begin a new chapter in Virginia’s energy future.”
The PBR process itself required more than two years of consultation and study with the DEQ and other agencies in the Secretariat of Natural Resources. The permit application covered each phase of constructing and operating Rocky Forge Wind, from pre-construction natural resource analyses to post-construction monitoring.
Rocky Forge Wind previously received unanimous approval at all levels of local permitting as well as the endorsement of the local chapter of the Sierra Club, the Virginia Deer Hunters Association, and the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund, among other groups.
“Rocky Forge will be a large contributor to Botetourt County’s tax base, while having a minimal effect on existing land use of the thousands of acres of rural land in the project area,” said Jack Leffel, chairman of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors. “This seems like a win-win to me.”
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