April 12, 2017

County supervisors receive update on wind energy project

By Anesa McGregor | Emmetsburg News | April 11, 2017 | www.emmetsburgnews.com

Representatives from Invenergy met with the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors during their regular scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 4 giving an update on the project and an approximate timeline of events.

“This is letter received from Nick Matchen, Project Development Associate for Invenergy that begins the application process starting a 60 day window in which the agencies that are required to be notified will be notified according to Resolution 9/27/2016 regarding wind energy,” Peter Hart, Palo Alto County Attorney began. “We have reviewed the letter and have talked with other counties that have wind towers and we are comfortable with this notice. Invenergy has done everything we have asked of them.”

“Peter and I tried to do our due diligence and take our time reviewing this notification, Joe Neary Palo Alto County Zoning Administrator added. “The resolution approved by the Supervisors states that the applicant and the County will come together and agree on the notification list and what needs to be done. So this is the process we are going through right now.”

There are five federal agencies, six state agencies and five local agencies listed in Resolution 9/27/2016; however, it is noted that within the letter from Invenergy that some agencies do not require a permit.

“Under the county ordinance, we are required to sent notice to the agencies on the list,” Nick Matchen, Invenergy Project Development Associate began. “So what this letter does is start the process. We cannot file our application until 60 days after sending out notice to the entities on the list. This would put us into June. So our plans going forward are to submit our project application sometime around the first week of June with an end goal of getting a permit by August.”

“We have agreed to transfer this project to MidAmerican after what we call development activities are complete, which is the signup through getting the permit.” Matchen continued. “Invenergy will be working with you through the permit process but MidAmerican will be with us every step of the way. The actual transfer will not happen until we essentially have the permit in hand. MidAmerican would like to have the permit by August so that they can start doing the roads for the actual construction later this year. Construction of the pads and turbines would begin in 2018.”

Invenergy is looking at 60,000 acres in the northeast corner of the county and currently have 20,000 acres either already signed up or in the process of signing up

County residents are encouraged to stop at Invenergy’s temporary office on Main St. in Emmetsburg. Mark Zaccone, Contractor, Business Development for Invenergy will be in the county frequently to answer any questions the public may have during this notification process.

In other business, Rick Hopper, Drainage Engineer from Westergard & Jacobson of Estherville was on hand for a continuation hearing on Drainage District 19, which has been looking at improving drainage in the area. Hopper noted the possibility of wetlands within the area and stressed the importance of getting land classified by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through Jeremy Thilges, Resource Conservationist.

With some discussion, Hopper recommended that the Board move ahead with improvements using the one-inch drainage coefficient. The estimated costs for the one-inch coefficient are: Main Tile – $746,470, Lateral No. 1 – $220,186, Lateral 1A – $79,165, Lateral 1B – $50,464 and Lateral No. 2 – $160,942.

Unanimous approval was given. The Board also approved Rick Hopper as engineer and Darrel Reed and Bill Whitney as commissioners to prepare the reclassification report for DD 19.

In final business, Walter Davis-Oeth was on hand giving the Board notification that the road embargo had lifted and that there was damage done on March 6 by the hail that came through Cylinder. The total of damaged done was $23,000.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2017/04/12/county-supervisors-receive-update-on-wind-energy-project/