Clean Line Energy Partners, a company who's mission is to connect abundant, renewable energy resources to areas that have a high demand for clean, reliable energy, held a public open house Monday evening to give Ford County residents the chance to learn about a new project the company is working on.
Clean Line is actually working on four wind energy projects right now, but the one that will affect Kansas is known as the Grain Belt Express Clean Line. The project will harness wind energy captured right here in Ford County, and take it to areas of the country where it will be best utilized.
According to Diana Rivera, the project development manager, the energy that will be captured with the project is 80 times more than the state of Kansas uses. So, it will be transferred to more heavily populated states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, to be used.
The project is still in the beginning stages, and the meeting on Monday focused on informing residents of why Clean Line wants to build in Ford County, give them a chance to share any concerns and provide their feedback on potential routes for the line.
"Everyone I talked to was really excited about the project," Rivera said in an interview Tuesday. "I think they know the potential for wind energy we have here and want this to succeed."
Rivera went on to say that several people did have input on where the route should be placed, and questions about compensation if their land is used.
"We really value all the feedback we get at these meetings," Rivera said. "We are trying to do this in the most open and responsible way possible by giving people a chance to be heard, and taking their suggestions into consideration before we finalize anything."
As for compensation, information will be provided to landowners once the route is decided.
The potential route in Ford County has been decided now, and is available for anyone to view and offer feedback, at grainbeltexpresscleanline.com. Just look for the link that says 'view Kansas potential routes'.
The route will be east of Dodge City, just past Fort Dodge and will run northeast.
More public meetings will be held throughout this week and next week in different parts of Kansas. Clean Line will take all the information they receive and compose one final potential route. Then, the proposed route will be presented to the Kansas Corporation Commission, more public meetings will be held and a final decision will be made.
Construction on the route is not scheduled to begin until 2016 at the earliest.
For more information about the Great Belt Express Clean Line energy project or to give feedback on the potential route, please visit, www.grainbeltexpresscleanline.com
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