The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has approved Rocky Forge Wind’s “Permit by Rule” (PBR) application, a wind project being developed by Apex Clean Energy in Botetourt County, Virginia. This marks the first PBR approval for a wind-power project in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The PBR approval process required more than two years of consultation and study in conjunction with DEQ and other agencies in the Secretariat of Natural Resources. This thorough application process covers each phase of constructing and operating Rocky Forge Wind, from the pre-construction natural resource analyses to post-construction monitoring.
Wind energy is an ideal fit for the new Virginia economy, bringing clean energy and economic development to the Commonwealth. Apex already employs approximately 200 people in Virginia, and Rocky Forge Wind will bring new jobs to Botetourt County and millions of dollars in local tax revenue over the life of the project, providing more money for schools and emergency services.
“Virginians overwhelmingly want more renewable energy, and wind power offers one of the cleanest, safest forms of electricity generation,” said Dan Crawford, Group Chair, Roanoke Group of the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Rocky Forge Wind is a great step toward growing the Commonwealth’s clean energy.”
The project received unanimous approval at every stage of local permitting and was endorsed by a wide variety of organizations, including the Roanoke Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Virginia Deer Hunters Association, and the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund, among others.
Several other local officials and organizations have also weighed in on the project’s approval.
“As the 19th district representative of the House of Delegates, I’m excited to see Virginia’s first wind energy project enter its final phase of compliance,” said Delegate Terry Austin, Member, Virginia House of Delegates, 19th District. “The community is excited to see the alternative form of energy come to completion.”