Criterion Wind Project

Criterion Wind Project

The Criterion Wind Project is a wind farm located on Backbone Mountain east of Oakland, Maryland, United States. The project has a rated capacity of 70 MW and uses 28 Liberty Wind Turbines manufactured by Clipper Windpower. Each of the wind turbines is about 415 feet tall. The Criterion Wind Project is owned by the Constellation Energy Group and interconnected with the transmission system of the Potomac Edison Company (a subsidiary of FirstEnergy). Electricity and renewable energy credits from the project are sold to the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative under a 20 year supply contract.[1]


The Criterion Wind Project was originally proposed in 2002 by Clipper Windpower as a 101 MW project consisting of 67 1.8 MW. On March 26, 2003, the Maryland Public Service Commission issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing the construction of the wind farm. Opponents of the project filed a series of lawsuits which delayed construction of the project.[2] In 2007, legislation was enacted by the Maryland General Assembly to streamline the permitting of wind farms with a capacity up to 70 MW. To meet the new statutory requirements, the Criterion Wind Project was then reconfigured as a 70 MW project consisting of 28 2.5 MW wind turbines. Clipper Windpower then sold the project to Constellation Energy,[1] which completed the project in December 2010.

A lawsuit was filed in December 2010 against the Criterion Wind Project alleging that the project must obtain an "incidental take permit" from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for any Indiana bats killed or injured by the turbine blades.[3] A pre-construction survey conducted over two years did not find any endangered bats such as the Indiana bat at the project site.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Constellation Energy Completes Acquisition of Criterion Wind Project in Western Maryland" (Press release). Constellation Energy. Apr. 7, 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  2. ^ See Clipper WindPower v. Sprenger, 924 A.2d 1160 (Md. 2007). and Sprenger v. Public Service Commission, 926 A.2d 238 (Md. 2007). .
  3. ^ Wheeler, Timothy B. (Dec. 22, 2010). "Maryland wind project sued over endangered bats". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 11 Apr. 2011. 
  4. ^ Gates, J. Edward; Kerns, Jessica, Lott, Keith, and Johnson, Joshua B. (June 2006). Bird and Bat Species and Risks to Diurnal Migrants on the Clipper Windpower Criterion Project, Backbone Mountain, Garrett County, Maryland. pp. 113, 118. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 

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