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Trego commission hears about wind

Wind farm talk was blowing from a new direction Monday morning as Trego County Commissioners heard from Iberdrola Project Manager Krista Gordon. Gordon attended the weekly meeting to discuss plans for the tentatively dubbed Saline Wind Project, which the company hopes to develop north of Ellis in Ellis and Trego counties. A second project, the Chetolah Crossing Wind Project, planned for southwestern Ellis County, southeastern Trego County and northwestern Rush County, also was discussed. "I just wanted to introduce myself to you and make sure your board is aware that we're working in Trego County," she said.

Wind farm talk was blowing from a new direction Monday morning as Trego County Commissioners heard from Iberdrola Project Manager Krista Gordon.

Gordon attended the weekly meeting to discuss plans for the tentatively dubbed Saline Wind Project, which the company hopes to develop north of Ellis in Ellis and Trego counties.

A second project, the Chetolah Crossing Wind Project, planned for southwestern Ellis County, southeastern Trego County and northwestern Rush County, also was discussed.

"I just wanted to introduce myself to you and make sure your board is aware that we're working in Trego County," she said.

Commissioners voiced enthusiasm for the proposed projects.

"It sounds great to me," commissioner Dean L. Papes said.

Gordon also requested permission for the company to install a 197-foot tall meteorological tower to collect wind data in the proposed project area. It's expected another tower could need to be constructed in the next few years, she said.

As with the two met towers installed southwest of Hays, this tower also will gauge solar data in case it also becomes a commercially viable entity, Gordon said.

One difference between the process in Ellis and Trego counties is Trego County has not... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Wind farm talk was blowing from a new direction Monday morning as Trego County Commissioners heard from Iberdrola Project Manager Krista Gordon.

Gordon attended the weekly meeting to discuss plans for the tentatively dubbed Saline Wind Project, which the company hopes to develop north of Ellis in Ellis and Trego counties.

A second project, the Chetolah Crossing Wind Project, planned for southwestern Ellis County, southeastern Trego County and northwestern Rush County, also was discussed.

"I just wanted to introduce myself to you and make sure your board is aware that we're working in Trego County," she said.

Commissioners voiced enthusiasm for the proposed projects.

"It sounds great to me," commissioner Dean L. Papes said.

Gordon also requested permission for the company to install a 197-foot tall meteorological tower to collect wind data in the proposed project area. It's expected another tower could need to be constructed in the next few years, she said.

As with the two met towers installed southwest of Hays, this tower also will gauge solar data in case it also becomes a commercially viable entity, Gordon said.

One difference between the process in Ellis and Trego counties is Trego County has not implemented countywide zoning. There is, however, a 3-mile radius zoned around the city of WaKeeney.

While some turbine placement has begun for this area, and plans are moving forward, Gordon estimated it could take three to five years for these projects to become a reality.

That is partly because progress on a proposed transmission infrastructure expansion, which would run from Spearville to the Hays area and north to Nebraska, is pending, she said.

If approved, the line would add to the capacity of the Southwest Power Pool and expand the energy production export capacity in the area, Gordon said.

If this additional line does not go through, the wind energy potential in the area would be diminished.

Gordon, however, said she has high hopes such a transmission system will be implemented, as several proposals for such an expansion have been made.

"I think this proposal is critical to getting these two projects up," she said. "It sounds like a go."

No matter the fate of the much-contested Hays wind project, these two projects still will be pursued, and all three are independent of each other, Gordon said.

At this point, both projects are considered at 200 megawatts of production, the same as the first Ellis County proposal. The figure is tentative, however, and plans for both projects are in the early stages.

Data must be collected before the plans can be finalized, she said this morning.

"I think it's important for people to understand these projects don't always come to fruition," Gordon said this morning. "I have very high hopes for both of them, but sometimes after we measure wind resource and conduct environmental studies, something comes up that precludes further development.

"They're not built until they're built."

 


Source: http://www.hdnews.net/Story...

JUN 10 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/15439-trego-commission-hears-about-wind
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