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Apex Energy/Bourbon County Commission agreements signed  

Credit:  Loretta George | Fort Scott Biz | March 19, 2020 | fortscott.biz ~~

The controversial wind energy business is coming to Bourbon County.

Following a request to Apex Clean Energy, the wind energy company from Charlottesville, Virginia for specifics on the project, the following statement was provided.

Apex Clean Energy entered into five agreements with the Bourbon County Commission last Friday, March 13, according to Helen Humphreys, public engagement manager for Apex.

“In addition to setting out how Jayhawk Wind (Jayhawk) will operate in the community, the agreements also empower the county to enforce the provisions and ensure residents’ concerns are addressed both during the construction process and once the project is operational,” according to the press release provided FortScott.Biz.

Julianna Pianelli, Apex Project Development Manager, said, “We appreciate the Bourbon County commissioners for their careful, objective review of the Jayhawk Wind agreements. We know that economic opportunity has been a priority for the county, and we are proud that Jayhawk will provide a new source of revenue, new jobs, and new customers for local businesses.”

The agreements with Bourbon County Commissioners are unique No other entity or individuals are similarly restricted in the use of county roads and given that Bourbon County does not have zoning restrictions, several of these agreements are entirely voluntary and reflect Apex’s commitment to community engagement, according to information provided by Humpherys.

The following was sent from Humphreys regarding the agreements with the Bourbon County Commission.

“Decommissioning Agreement

Decommissioning agreements are common in the wind industry and ensure that financial resources are available to remove the turbines and related facilities at the end of a project’s lifespan. The Jayhawk Decommissioning Agreement:

  • Specifies that the turbines, and related equipment, will be removed by the project owner when the project is complete; and
  • Requires that, on the 10th anniversary of the completion of construction, Jayhawk Wind will place a performance bond, letter of credit, or other security acceptable to the county to cover the net removal cost in an amount determined by an engineer selected by the county.
  • To view the document:
  • doc10726320200313102218-c-c-c

Contribution Agreement

The Contribution Agreement details the financial donation Jayhawk will make to Bourbon County if the project enters construction. Kansas law exempts renewable energy projects like Jayhawk from property taxes for the first ten years of operation, just as it does with a property such as farm equipment and other sources of energy production. In place of these taxes, wind developers often propose to donate funds to a county through a voluntary contribution agreement because we believe it is important that a project directly benefits its community.

In the Bourbon agreements, Jayhawk committed to making an initial payment of $407,812.50 to Bourbon County upon receiving notice to proceed with construction. This payment will be followed by nine annual payments of $365,625, and a final annual payment of $182,813.

After 10 years of operation, the tax exemption will expire, and Jayhawk will pay property taxes to the municipalities and school districts in which the project is located. According to the Jayhawk Wind Economic Impact Analysis:

  • Bourbon County will receive annual revenues of $586,380 and a total of $11.4 million over the projected 25-year life of the project;
  • Uniontown Unified School District will receive $387,000 annually beginning in year 11 and a total of $5.8 million;
  • Girard Unified School District will receive $203,000 annually beginning in year 11 and a total of $3 million; and
  • Erie Unified School District will receive $38,00 annually beginning in year 11 and a total of $572,000.
  • To view the document:
  • doc10726020200313102002-c-c-c

Road Use Agreement

The Road Use Agreement (RUA) clearly outlines Jayhawk’s obligation to maintain or improve the county roadways it will use. According to the agreement, the county will prepare a pre-construction road survey and establish an inventory of the roads before construction. These tools will be used to both mitigate project impacts on local traffic during construction and to determine what repairs and improvements will be needed to return the roads to pre-construction condition.

Also, vehicles with a combined weight of 80,000 pounds or more will be required to stay on approved transportation routes.

Jayhawk Wind agrees to return the roads it uses during construction to a condition that is “as good or better” to that existing before construction. Also, Jayhawk will be obligated to make repairs to any roads damaged during construction that create a hazard to the traveling public.

The RUA ensures Bourbon County has the resources needed to oversee the project and details how Jayhawk Wind will coordinate with county officials, by providing:

  • $50,000 for the County to hire outside engineering or added employee costs;
  • $250,000 security provided by Jayhawk before construction begins to guarantee its obligations under the RUA;
  • Proof that Jayhawk shall maintain $3,000,000 in insurance; and
  • That even after Jayhawk becomes operational, larger projects for which Jayhawk must use county roads will require Jayhawk to purchase a bond and ensure damage resulting from its road use is repaired.
  • To view the document:
  • doc10725620200313101557-c-c-c

Development Agreement

While Bourbon County is not a zoned county, Jayhawk voluntarily agreed to a few project design restrictions including:

  • Sound from each turbine shall be less than 50 dBA at any non-participating home;
  • Turbines shall be set no less than 1,400 feet from any non-participating home;
  • Turbines shall be set back no less than 1.1 times the height of the turbine from any non-participating property line;
  • Turbines shall be set back no less than 1.1 times the height of the turbine from any county road; and
  • Turbines shall be tubular towers and lighting shall be by the FAA.
  • To view the document:
  • doc10725720200313101736-c (Signature Edit)-c-c

Complaint Resolution Agreement

Jayhawk agreed to a complaint resolution process that ensures members of the public who make a complaint can have confidence that their concerns will be addressed. Moreover, it empowers the county to order a review of unresolved complaints by an independent engineer. The Development Agreement requires Jayhawk to:

  • Establish a “24/7” single point of contact to take claims or issues and respond to complaints within five business days;
  • Maintain a record of complaints received and resolve any deemed to violate the Development Agreement; and
  • Be bound by the decision of a third-party engineer during dispute resolution between the county and the project.”
  • To view the document:
  • doc10725920200313101859-c-c-c

“Cumulatively, these agreements enable the continued development of Jayhawk while providing certainty for Bourbon County that all residents will benefit either directly or indirectly from the project,” according to the information provided by Humphreys.

The Jayhawk Wind project is expected to be operational in 2021.according to the information from Humphreys. It will produce enough power to supply 70,000 average U.S. homes and will also provide significant economic benefits for the local economy, according to the information. This includes the creation of more than 115 construction jobs and seven long-term operations positions.

Source:  Loretta George | Fort Scott Biz | March 19, 2020 | fortscott.biz

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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