The developer of what could be Virginia’s first commercial wind farm has lined up all the regulatory permits it needs, but it hasn’t started site work yet because it can’t find a buyer for the electricity. Apex Energy will not start construction by the end of this year, as planned, on the Rocky Forge project in Botetourt County, reports the Roanoke Times.
“We’re working to find the right partner to commercialize Rocky Forge,” said Apex spokeswoman Brooke Beaver wrote. “We do not yet have a specific date for the start of construction, but are working steadfastly toward that goal.”
On the positive side, Beaver said a later start date would allow Apex to take advantage of “even newer technology that will make the project even more competitive.”
Project critic Steve Neas told the Roanoke Times that he believes the wind farm’s 75-megawatt capacity is not enough to make it attractive to either a power company shopping for renewable energy or investors willing to commit to the project. “My guess is that they’re having a hard time lining up people to buy their power.”
Continues the Roanoke Times:
Apex contended in its statement that with the latest delay, the company has “the opportunity to utilize newer turbine technology, making Rocky Forge even more competitive in the market and further decreasing the cost of the energy it can produce.”
“Virginia has experienced tremendous growth in solar energy in the past year, and we look forward to adding wind energy to the generation mix.”