March 20, 2019

County still in talks with NextEra Energy

By Heather Stewart | The Sabetha Herald | March 19, 2019 |

Multiple county residents have filled the Nemaha County Commission room over the past few weeks, waiting for Commissioners – Gary Scoby, Dennis Henry and Tim Burdiek – to present a term sheet for NextEra Energy’s proposed Soldier Creek Wind Farm in Nemaha County, and Monday, March 18, was no different.

“We had high hopes of making an announcement this morning, but we simply do not have anything yet,” Scoby said. “We are still in negotiations [with NextEra Energy].”

Although many questions regarding setbacks were asked, County Attorney Brad Lippert said they cannot disclose anything yet.

“We can’t get into specific terms, but it is an all-encompassing agreement that we are looking for, but as far as actual terms that is what we are still negotiating,” Lippert said.

Lippert, Henry and Scoby all agreed saying they would not be able to make an announcement that day.

“We really hoped we would have a term sheet today that we could present to everyone and publish in the newspapers,” Lippert said. “But were just not there.”

“We thought we would make forward progress, but we got put back a step,” Henry said. “We are close.”

“We are all as anxious as everybody else in this room,” Scoby said.

Once James Neeld – the county’s hired wind farm attorney – and NextEra have come to an agreement on terms, the term sheet will be released to the public for their review. The commissioners will then hold at least one, and possibly two, public hearings regarding the term sheet. The commissioners have said that they will publish notices for the public hearing(s) in the newspapers.

Lippert said that even though they hoped to have the term sheet ready to present, they want to make sure they get it right.

“I think it is more important for us to get it right, instead of get to it fast,” Lippert said.

The commissioners will meet again for open wind farm discussion at 10 a.m. Monday, March 25.

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