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Sunflower Electric proposes facility for SW Kansas

But Watkins said the real benefit of the center would be its economic impact on southwest Kansas, where alternative energy is becoming a major industry. Several biofuel plants are already under construction and wind farms are increasingly gaining traction. "The real benefit is rural development," Watkins said. "When the (rural) economy grows, our customer base grows. We're all connected at the hip."

GARDEN CITY, Kan. - Sunflower Electric Power Corp. is proposing an integrated bioenergy center in southwest Kansas that would reuse and convert waste products into renewable energy, including methane and ethanol.

The project would be added to three coal-powered plants already planned for the 10,000-acre site near Holcomb, pushing the cost of the facility into the "hundreds of millions," Trevor McKeeman, a business development manager with the National Institute for Strategic Technology Acquisition and Commercialization, said Wednesday.

McKeeman said NISTAC, based in Manhattan, is still considering factors such as cost, possible time frames and specific regulatory approval each facility would need. But he said the entire project is "on an accelerated time frame."

The bioenergy center would consist of an ethanol plant, a biodiesel plant, a livestock processing facility, a dairy plant and a coal-based power plant.

Sunflower Chief Executive Officer Earl Watkins said by combining each facility into one center, the plants could share water and other resources, cut down on air pollution and run more efficiently.

Each unit would be built and run by separate companies, said Steve Miller,... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

GARDEN CITY, Kan. - Sunflower Electric Power Corp. is proposing an integrated bioenergy center in southwest Kansas that would reuse and convert waste products into renewable energy, including methane and ethanol.

The project would be added to three coal-powered plants already planned for the 10,000-acre site near Holcomb, pushing the cost of the facility into the "hundreds of millions," Trevor McKeeman, a business development manager with the National Institute for Strategic Technology Acquisition and Commercialization, said Wednesday.

McKeeman said NISTAC, based in Manhattan, is still considering factors such as cost, possible time frames and specific regulatory approval each facility would need. But he said the entire project is "on an accelerated time frame."

The bioenergy center would consist of an ethanol plant, a biodiesel plant, a livestock processing facility, a dairy plant and a coal-based power plant.

Sunflower Chief Executive Officer Earl Watkins said by combining each facility into one center, the plants could share water and other resources, cut down on air pollution and run more efficiently.

Each unit would be built and run by separate companies, said Steve Miller, Sunflower's senior manager of external affairs.

"We have people who have shown interest in every segment," he said.

Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said the plan represents a larger effort to cut down on the county's need for foreign energy sources. A national movement that he is promoting calls for the United States to rely on renewable resources for 25 percent of its energy by 2025.

Moran, accompanied by U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Rural Development Thomas C. Dorr and Chuck Banks, the Agriculture Department's development director of Kansas, said the project would also have an effect on national security by cutting down on the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

"We are sending billions of dollars to the Middle East," Moran said. "We have to then worry if that money is used for an attack on our country."

But Watkins said the real benefit of the center would be its economic impact on southwest Kansas, where alternative energy is becoming a major industry. Several biofuel plants are already under construction and wind farms are increasingly gaining traction.

"The real benefit is rural development," Watkins said. "When the (rural) economy grows, our customer base grows. We're all connected at the hip."

 


Source: http://www.centredaily.com/...

AUG 26 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/4191-sunflower-electric-proposes-facility-for-sw-kansas
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