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Construction on $500M wind park to begin in months

An expected 80 wind turbines, towering 80 to 100 meters tall, are proposed to be installed by the end of 2016 on Broad Mountain in Packer Township and Nesquehoning. (Contributed photo)

Construction is expected to begin in six to eight months on a potential $500 million wind park in Carbon County – a timetable delayed by a year because of the complexity involved in obtaining municipal approvals.

Construction is expected to begin in six to eight months on a potential $500 million wind park in Carbon County – a timetable delayed by a year because of the complexity involved in obtaining municipal approvals.

An expected 80 wind turbines were to grace the hills of Broad Mountain by the end of 2015 – powering 60,000 homes a day and towering almost as high as the length of a football field. Instead, the project remains in the permitting and approval stage – moving back completion to the end of 2016.

“Things were delayed somewhat,” said Mark Buchvalt of T&M Associates, the Bethlehem engineering firm handling the project.

Dozens of items in the plan needed to be addressed before submitting the project’s plans for approval on the local level, according to the attorney representing the seller of the land for the wind park. Plans have not been approved but it is hoped that they will be OK’d in the next several months.

The proposed wind park is set to be the largest for Tiku Patel, owner of Tihali Wind Turbines LLC, an energy development firm in Brick, N.J. Previously, the company was involved in small residential projects.

Last year, Tihali bought 4,500 acres of land for the wind park from KME Kovatch near Kovatch headquarters in Packer Township and Nesquehoning, and hired Global Resource Advisors LLC of Washington, D.C., a green energy consulting firm assisting with site selection, permits, regulations, governmental tax credits and financing.

“There is very good wind in Pennsylvania, making this an extremely viable opportunity,” Chris Myers, owner of Global Resource Advisors, said in a previous interview.

Combined, the turbines would produce up to 200 megawatts of electricity – power that would be sold to the main electrical grid for the region. Once on the grid, the power could be purchased by electric companies for use by its customers.

Myers estimated the cost of the wind park to be $400 million to $500 million.

The standard cost of building a wind park, he said, is $1.5 million to $2.5 million per megawatt of energy the project will produce.

Jennifer Glose
Reporter Jennifer Glose covers health care, Berks County and other topics. She can be reached at jenniferg@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 111.

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