"We are very pleased to have reached an agreement that allows us to move forward with creating clean, wind energy in Greenbrier County while at the same time meeting the goals of important wildlife conservation efforts," said Joe Condo, Invenergy Vice President and General Counsel. "This compromise will permit Beech Ridge Energy to continue employing skilled West Virginia construction workers to finish building the wind power project and to proceed with the hiring of the full-time local operations team."
Pursuant to the stipulation, Beech Ridge Energy LLC, an affiliate of Invenergy Wind LLC, may immediately construct and bring into operation up to the 67 wind turbines originally planned for the initial phase of the project with certain alterations made to the original project configuration.
Beech Ridge may operate the project year-round. Until the project obtains an Incidental Take Permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it will be subject to certain time-of-day restrictions during seasons when Indiana bats are out of hibernation. Under the terms of the agreement, Beech Ridge also may in the future expand the initial phase of the project by an additional 33 turbines.
Condo continued, "The agreement allows the project to begin providing clean energy to West Virginia in the first half of 2010. We look forward to working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the Incidental Take Permit process, including development of a Habitat Conservation Plan that will demonstrate that wildlife conservation, including Indiana Bat protection, can be achieved hand in hand with the expeditious development of renewable energy that is so important to America’s environment and security."
Beech Ridge Energy LLC is an affiliate of Invenergy Wind LLC, a Chicago-based company focused on the development, ownership, operation and management of large-scale wind energy generation assets in the North American and European markets. Invenergy companies have approximately 2,000 MW of wind projects in operation or construction. Invenergy is one of the five largest wind energy developers in North America.