Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Garden Prairie power plant proposal resurfaces


Garden Prairie power plant proposal resurfaces

Posted Jan 10, 2017 at 12:37 PM Updated at 1:13 AM

By Susan Vela
Staff writer

GARDEN PRAIRIE - A Missouri company has revived its plans to build a $160 to $180 million power plant in eastern Boone County.

Officials with Power Ventures LLC are requesting a special-use permit for construction of a 450-megawatt, natural-gas-fired "peaker" power plant east of Garden Prairie Road and south of Interstate 90.

The company's 2009 permit expired at the end of 2013. In documents submitted to the county, officials said their latest designs would include three larger turbines, rather than the 12 reciprocating engines in their original plan. The new application for the Garden Prairie Energy Facility reflects the use of state-of-the-art technology, according to county documents.

If approved, the facility would have to be in operation by 2020. Otherwise, the permit would expire again.

The Boone County Board's Planning, Zoning and Building Committee is recommending denial for the special-use permit. The full board votes at its Jan. 18 session, and some residents plan to attend in opposition.


Tom Pyszka lives within a mile of the proposed peaker plant. He's concerned about light pollution and a potential terrorist attack. Law enforcement officers rarely patrol the region.

"We're hoping they find a better location for it," he said. "This is not the place."

The board appears divided on the matter. Denny Ellingson and Raymond Larson, both of District 1, and Brad Stark, of District 3, voted to deny the permit at the Jan. 4 Boone County Planning, Zoning and Building Committee meeting. Marshall Newhouse, District 1, and Jessica Muellner, District 3, voted in favor.

Chairman Karl Johnson said it "makes no sense" to reject the plan, even if some residents object.

Johnson voted to approve Power Ventures' 2009 permit. He plans to vote for the plan next week.

"It's minimal impact in the agricultural area," he said. "It is not a large industrial facility. It is simply a building with a smokestack with turbines. There's minimal environmental impact. It makes no sense to not allow a facility in that area."

Others said the power plant shouldn't go on "prime agricultural land."

"There are a lot of concerns," Ellingson said. "It belongs in an industrial area."


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