Apex Clean Energy Project Manager Charlie Johnson told the Botetourt Board of Supervisors his company is working diligently to start construction on the Rocky Forge wind turbine project by the end of this year.

Johnson was at last week’s regular July board meeting to give what has been a regular update on the wind farm project.

He also told the supervisors the company has several good prospects that are interested in buying the electricity the wind farm will produce.

The wind farm is planned in a remote area on private property on North Mountain near Eagle Rock.

Board Chair Jack Leffel asked Johnson after his presentation whether his projected timetable is “realistic.”

“If all the pieces fall into place, we’ll start by the end of the year,” Johnson replied.

All the permitting for the wind energy project is in hand, Johnson told the supervisors. The only permits left to acquire involve construction.

Engineering is also continuing, including for some work that will be needed on Dagger Springs Road that leads from US 220 at Gala to the Fraley Family Restated Irrevocable Dynasty and the Fraley Restated Irrevocable Dynasty Trust property where the wind project will be located.

Johnson said his company’s engineers continue to find their work a welcome challenge because of how remote the project is.

The Rocky Forge Wind Energy Project got approval from the Board of Supervisors early last year and went through state and federal permitting requirements that got final approval in March.

The company expects to use about 200 acres to locate 25 wind turbines up to 550 feet tall on 5,870 acres on North Mountain.

The project will have a maximum generating capacity up to 75 MW of power, which is enough energy to power up to 20,000 average sized homes each year. It will be linked to the electric transmission grid operated by PJM via the existing transmission lines that cross the Fraley property.