State Regulators Approve Plan for First Commercial Wind Farm in Virginia

March 22, 2017

The Roanoke Times reported that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality approved a commercial wind farm in Botetourt County, clearing the way for developer Apex Clean Energy to install up to 25 turbines on top of North Mountain. The Department acknowledged that the spinning blades could strike flying bats, and the regulators accepted Apex's plan to turn the turbines off at night during warm months when bats are active. The wind project will be the first commercial wind farm in Virginia and is expected to produce about 150 jobs during construction. According to Apex officials, the project could inject as much as $4.5 million a year into the local economy by adding to the tax base and contributing to local sales and tourism spending.