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Wind farm plans moving forward

The Ellis County Commission has approved the hiring of an engineering firm as part of the decommissioning agreement for a commercial wind farm in the county.

Commissioners voted 3-0 to contract with CH2M Hill of Englewood, Colo., in a special meeting Friday morning at the county administrative building, 718 Main.

The engineering firm would design how to remove the wind turbines at the end of the project.

“They’re designing the decommissioning plan,” Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund said. “There’s a process for decommissioning, and that’s a requirement of the decommissioning agreement, that they do this ahead of time.”

Andrew Downey, renewable energy consultant for Invenergy, will be the site manager for the Buckeye Wind Energy project. Downey said he appreciated the commissioners having the special meeting Friday.

“The end result is we will be able to get concrete in the ground early next week,” Downey said.

Buckeye Wind Energy, which will have turbines located north of Interstate 70 between Hays and Ellis, will have the project spread out over 28,500 acres.

The turbines collectively will be able to produce 200 megawatts of renewable energy.