A contractor working with the Diamond Vista wind farm has leased the former Hope landfill as a temporary office.
Dickinson County Administrator Brad Homman said Thursday that Atchison Recycling, headquartered in Missouri, plans to use the old landfill for 12 to 14 months while work is underway on the wind farm located on the northern tier of McPherson and Marion counties.
Tradewind Energy of Lenexa, Diamond Vista developers, also expressed interest in expanding into portions of southern Dickinson County.
Except for obtaining a permit in January 2017 to erect a MET (meteorological) tower to measure wind speed, Diamond Vista officials have not taken any steps to build in Dickinson County.
The MET tower is located on private property southeast of Navarre.
If the wind farm does expand into Dickinson County, owners will have to obtain the necessary permits, Homman said.
“They will need a conditional use permit and they’ll also have to obtain a construction permit. They’ll have to widen intersections because those big long rigs (carrying wind farm equipment) can’t make the turning radius,” Homman said. “It will be a lot of construction we’ll be monitoring.”
If Diamond Vista expands into Dickinson County, it will be located on private property. During information meetings in 2016, a number of Dickinson County landowners said they were interested.
Building project now underway
Groundbreaking for the Diamond Vista project was Tuesday in McPherson County, Homman said.
The Diamond Vista wind project is owned by Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA), an Italian energy company. Tradewind Energy develops the projects and EGPNA constructs, owns and operates them, according to information provided by Tradewind Energy representatives last year.
Electricity generated by the farm is then sold to various power companies. Power purchase agreements support the project.
The old Hope landfill includes a smaller warehouse, which the recycling company can utilize. In recent years, the county has used it to “park a maintainer,” to get it out of the weather, Homman said.
The landfill has been closed for several decades, but the county was still operating groundwater monitoring wells up until 2015 when the Kansas Department of Health and Environment finally agreed with county officials that monitoring was unnecessary.
“The monitoring wells there never had water in them in 30 years, but we had to fill out reports every year until (County Engineer) John Gough talked to KDHE and they agreed with us,” Homman said.
Atchison Recycling will lease the space temporarily while construction is ongoing.
“They’re starting work at the opposite end of the project in McPherson County and they’ll work this way,” he explained. “As it finishes, the project will get closer to the yard (Hope location). Right now it’s the farthest away.”
Homman emphasized the Hope location will not be used as a landfill. No items will be buried there.
“They will only use the area there at Hope to stage. It’s just a place to put things to process them,” Homman said.
Housing may be needed
“The company is also looking to rent or possibly purchase some houses in the area. They’ve got 14 to 16 crew members that will be moving into the area,” Homman said.
“That should be a little infusion of some revenue for some landlords, grocery stores. If they have kids and families with them it might be a good thing for the area,” he said.
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