September 14, 2017

Supervisors approve turbine decommissioning agreement

By Joseph Hopper, Daily Reporter Staff | Wednesday, September 13, 2017 |

During Tuesday’s Clay County Board of Supervisors meeting, the county’s governing board reviewed and approved the agreement between the county and Apex Clean Energy, regarding how the wind turbines in Apex Clean Energy’s Upland Prairie Wind Project would be retired at the end of its life cycle.

“Generally what it does is it requires after 17 years, adequate security. Adequate security is listed as … a letter of credit, bond or other form reasonably satisfactory to the county,” Assistant County Attorney Barry Sackett said. “Security will be an amount equal to the net removal costs.”

“The … owner of the project at that time, they’re obligated to decommission everything and that’s sort of first and foremost. The security is only there in the event they don’t do that,” said Brenna Gunderson, senior land development manager at Apex. “The county has first access to that … if the county doesn’t want to do it, then the landowners have access to that security as well, in order to do that on their property.”

Supervisor Dan Skelton sought answers regarding the concrete base used to erect the wind turbine from both Sackett and Apex representatives present during the meeting.

“What about the concrete footprint?” Skelton asked.

“Four feet of the foundation (is removed) and the cables would remain in place below ground,” Gunderson said.

Clarifications regarding the agreement were also addressed. The agreement would not expire until the last turbine had been decommissioned, and that the obligation would be successive if the project would be sold at any point in the future. The board also approved related drainage and road use agreements with Apex, with discussion noting that the drainage agreement would allow the county to assign an inspector, and that Apex would be responsible to repair road damages per the road use agreement. Apex Clean Energy’s Upland Wind Prairie Project webpage lists an estimated project completion date as in 2018.

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