Highland Wind Farm Finances

Environmentalist are raising more ruckus about a wind farm in Highland County, after confidential financial information about the project got out.

The mistakenly released analysis of the project by Highland New Wind Development shows the company expects to earn more than $4 million a year after paying off equipment and other startup costs.

Highland New Wind Development is seeking certification from the State Corporation Commission to build 19 turbines more than 400 feet tall on remote Highland County ridges. The cost of the Virginia's first wind farm is $60 million.

A clerk mistakenly posted the numbers on the SCC Web site in August, supplied by the Nature Conservancy. Wiley Mitchell, an attorney for the Nature Conservancy, said he was allowed to see financial data that wasn't supposed to be made public, and accidentally labeled it to be posted to the public.

A copy was obtained by The Roanoke Times. The company did not comment on the accuracy of the figures. But its lawyer, John Flora, said Highland New Wind rejects the conclusion that it can afford extensive animal protection measures.

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