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Company Eyeing Potential Repower of Elk Wind Project Near Greeley

The wind turbines near Greeley could be getting an update.

The Delaware County Board of Supervisors heard a presentation at their meeting on Monday regarding a potential repower of the Elk Wind project.

The Elk Wind project was constructed about a decade ago, with seventeen wind turbines covering farmland one to three miles west and northwest of Greeley.

Justin Fike with Greenbacker Capital says the repower would generate more electricity by using larger blades. Fike told the Board that they’d like to replace the top of the existing wind turbines, as well as the electrical components in the towers, increasing the height of the turbine by 45 feet and the rotor diameter by 90 feet. The tower itself would stay intact, as well as the base and existing infrastructure. The current blades would be recycled, turned into fuel and concrete at a facility in Arkansas. 

Construction would take about four to six months, with temporary modifications made to public roads for component deliveries. Fike says they would also use a SPMT (Self Propelled Modular Transport) to transport cranes via public and existing access roads – eliminating crane walks across cropland and therefore vastly reducing crop damage and compaction on landowners’ properties. 

Fike says the repower would increase payments for participating landowners and provide high-quality construction jobs. 

But he also notes the updated wind turbines would be slightly louder (within one to two decibels) – and due to the longer blades, there could be some incremental flickering. 

The County does have some concerns and questions about the project. Delaware County Engineer Anthony Bardgett has requested that Greenback Capital provide the County with examples of SPMT use in other counties and contact information for those counties as well to get an idea of potential damages. 

The company is visiting with landowners about the potential repower and plans to submit several variance requests to the County soon.

Also at the Delaware County Supervisors meeting on Monday…

The County awarded the bid for the X-35 paving project north of Earlville to Manatt’s – they were the low bidder at $2,865,405 – just $500 less than the second lowest bid. County Engineer Anthony Bardgett says that’s about $500,000 above the County’s estimate. The County has a budget of two-point-eight million dollars for projects this year – which included this project and two smaller bridge projects – but the bid for this project alone exceeds that by $65,000, which means the construction budget will now need to be bumped up by about $430,000 to three-point-three million dollars. Bardgett says he doesn’t think re-bidding will improve prices, adding that everything is up right now and everyone is feeling it. 

The Board also set a public hearing on a construction permit application for a confined feeding operation submitted by Mormann Dairy LLC in Section 21 of Colony Township. They plan to add on to existing dairy cattle confinement buildings and increase the dairy cattle numbers at an existing dairy cattle confinement facility. The animal unit capacity after construction would be 1253 animal units (824 head of mature dairy cattle and 100 head of immature dairy cattle). The public hearing will be set for Monday, April 11th at 1:15 pm – written comments may be filed with the Delaware County Auditor’s Office until 1 pm that day. 

The Board approved the first reading of the proposed Floodplain Management ordinance. 

And the County also approved purchasing a used flatbed trailer for $14,500 to haul around pipe more efficiently. And they approved hiring Casey Snyder as a seasonal part-time worker for mowing duties and other miscellaneous work at $20 per hour.

 

photo courtesy of Janelle Tucker/KMCH

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