CRESTLINE -- The Black Fork Project is no more, according to the project's owners, Capitol Power, a Canadian company pursuing contracted generation capacity throughout North America.
The project was supposed to consist of 91 wind turbines measuring approximately 500 feet tall, spread out across 14,800 acres of private, mainly agricultural land leased from more than 100 landowners in Richland County.
"We are no longer pursuing the wind-energy project," Jay Shukin, an employee at Capitol Power, said speaking on behalf of the project. "The decision was not made lightly. We looked at a number of factors in the decision making like market conditions and construction costs."
Capitol Power came to the decision the Black Fork Project would be unlikely to get proper funding and ended development and let land owners know in April.
According to the Ohio Power Siting Board, the Black Fork Wind Energy, LLC project was meant to take place in Richland and Crawford counties.
"We worked with land owners and to figure out if we could put land turbines up and where they would go," Shukin said.
The Ohio Power Siting Board granted an extension for the project that ended in January of 2019.
Shukin said no wind turbines were built on the project's land.
“The board felt Black Fork is continuing to make investments in the project and demonstrate good cause for a two-year extension,” Matt Butler, spokesman for the OPSB, said in April of 2016.
The ruling created angst with residents in the area of the project, who argued the OPSB was working to its own best interests.
“Imagine you are in a poker game where everything you own is at stake. After the dealer distributes the cards, he looks at his own hand and declares fours are wild," said Brett Heffner, a resident in the area of the planned wind project. "That is what dealing with the siting board is like."
Richland County Commissioner Tony Vero said the cancellation of the project will have a minimal impact on Richland County.