Thursday, March 28, 2013

Clean Line Energy's Grain Belt Express and the Sunflower Energy Coal Plant

Wow.  This is certainly interesting!

John in Kansas turned me on to this proposed coal plant expansion in Holcomb Kansas by Sunflower Electric Power Company.  Apparently this project is about 80 miles from the start of the Grain Belt Express.  I don’t know if this project is dead or still in the works.  Sunflower conceived this coal generation plant under the Cheney Administration when coal was king and a very economical form of energy.  Now we have the Obama Administration where the motto is either “We can’t drill our way out of this” or “All of the above…except coal or nuclear, or natural gas pipelines or off shore drilling, or frac….but after all that it’s ALL OF THE ABOVE!” 

It’s my understanding through second hand that, Mark Lawlor of Clean Line Energy says this Sunflower coal is dead and the Grain Belt Express is not being built for new coal energy from this plant.  I don’t know if that’s true, but this plant was planned to 2,100MW’s.  A third of this power was going to Colorado, a third to Texas, and a third would stay in Kansas. 

Even if Sunflower is dead, there are still several questions that deserve to be asked

1.       Why is Clean Line wheeling 3,500 MW's in the opposite direction to the northeast?  Grain Belt Express is Maryland, New York New Jersey and such.

2.      If it was acceptable for the people of Kansas to request an Environmental Impact Study for Sunflower, it should also be acceptable for the People of Kansas to request a proper Environmental Impact Study for GBE, including the 200 square miles of wind farms.  Yes, 4,000 MW’s of 2MW wind turbines at 65 acres per windmill is over 200 square miles of windmills. This shouldn’t be a pseudo-wanna-be study by HDR Engineering but a REAL Environmental Impact Study  Sunflower should provide an adequate example.

3.      If 2100 MW`s was going to be divided between Kansas, Texas and Colorado and no talk of building additional transmission, it is reasonable to ask why 3,500 MW's are going in the opposite direction with GBE.  Yes, Clean Line only gets paid to build an unnecessary powerline to the east. 

4.      When Sunflower was proposed, one of the arguments was why should Kansas be exporting energy rather than keep in within state is.  This is still a valid argument.

5.      Next, the Kansas government has a track record for prematurely approving projects without having them fully vetted.  Sunflower is further evidence it happened again with Grain Belt Express.

Once the people of Kansas became aware, Sunflower was turned around and rejected after initial approval. 

So can Clean Line Energy’s Grain Belt Express.

 Oh yeah, some old business.  I still can't believe Michael Skelly was arrogant enough to write the letter to the Houston Chronicle about government mandates for land use.  Maybe deep down in his heart he knows we're right.

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