FAA finds no danger from latest plan for Botetourt County wind farm

The Federal Aviation Administration has found, once again, that wind turbines high above a Botetourt County mountaintop will not pose a hazard to air navigation.  Issued last week, the finding was the latest in a string of approvals and reapprovals since 2015, when Apex Clean Energy announced plans for what will be the first onshore wind farm in Virginia. Continue reading

DEQ Approves PBR Modification for Rocky Forge Wind

The Rocky Forge Wind project in Botetourt County has now received authorization for its Permit by Rule modification from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Previously approved in 2016, this modification will allow the project to construct and operate taller, yet fewer, turbines. The modification allows for up to 22 turbines with a height of up to 680 feet. Continue reading

Governor Northam Announces Power Purchase Agreement With Virginia's First Onshore Wind Farm

Governor Ralph Northam and Apex Clean Energy today announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia has entered into an agreement to purchase the output of the approximately 75 megawatt Rocky Forge Wind, located in Botetourt County. The agreement represents the purchase of the full capacity of the project, which will become Virginia’s first operating onshore wind project when it begins commercial operations, expected in 2021. Continue reading

Roanoke Times Letter to the Editor: Crawford: Wind vs. birds?

What do the Audubon Society and Sierra Club agree on? The importance of reducing greenhouse gases that are destroying wildlife habitats, for one. And how do they plan to do that? By supporting properly sited renewable energy projects to reduce the impact of climate change on the planet. Dan Crawford, the chair of the Sierra Club Roanoke Group, wrote a letter to the editor voicing his support for renewable energy projects and for our own Rocky Forge Wind in Botetourt County. Read the full letter to the editor here.

Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy: Two Mid-Atlantic States See Close to Half-A-Million in Revenue from Onshore Wind Farms

In March, the Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy published an article about the Rocky Forge Wind project, citing the benefits to Botetourt County, which will include hundreds of jobs and $20 million to $25 million in state and county tax revenue.  "It is really exciting to be on the cutting edge of renewable energy and to be involved with Apex [Clean Energy]" on Virginia's first onshore wind farm, said Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce Board President Peter Pearl. Continue reading

National Champions: Botetourt's Off the Grid Members win in Anaheim

A big congratulations to Botetourt's Off the Grid team who won the National KidWind Challenge in Anaheim! The team scored 95.27 out of a possible 100 points in six categories. They competed against 22 other teams in their division.  Continue reading

Fincastle Herald: Off the Grid team earns another trip to National KidWind Challenge

This past Saturday at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, six teams in the high school division competed for a chance to win a trip to KidWind in Anaheim, California. KidWind is a national competition that has students designing and building small-scale turbines. The winning team creates the most innovative turbine with the highest energy output. For the second year in a row, Botetourt's own Off the Grid team will travel to the national competition in May! They won first place and the Judges’ Award.   Continue reading

Virginia DEQ Approves Rocky Forge Wind!

Dear Friends of Rocky Forge Wind, Yesterday, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) approved Rocky Forge Wind’s “Permit by Rule” (PBR) application. This marks the first PBR approval for a wind energy project in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Continue reading

Apex Clean Energy and Botetourt Students Meet in DC!

Last week, Apex Clean Energy team members bumped into several Botetourt County students in Washington, DC! The students were with Off the Grid, the KidWind Challenge team from Botetourt County’s the Learning Barn. Both Apex and the Botetourt students were in town for the American Wind Energy Association’s Wind Power on Capitol Hill event, and the KidWind team members were featured speakers at a rally held for the event. KidWind is a national competition that has students designing and building small-scale turbines. The winning team creates the most innovative turbine with the highest energy output. Last year, Off the Grid won 6th place at the national competition in New Orleans, out of 30 teams. Continue reading

WBUR: Wind Turbine Technician Blows Away Competition as Country's Fastest-Growing Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wind turbine technician is the fastest-growing job in the United States, and its popularity is only expected to rise. In fact, the options for new technicians are so numerous that "the dilemma that graduates have from these programs is that they've got to choose which company to take a job with," says Daniel Lutat of Iowa Lakes Community College, which has one of the country's largest training programs for wind turbine technicians. With the number of available positions expected to double over the next decade, it may lead one to ask: What exactly does a wind turbine technician do?  Continue reading