Questions and answers about the coal plant project

Q: What was proposed?

A: A group of utility companies proposed building three 700-megawatt coal-fired electric plants near Sunflower Electric Power Corp.’s 360-megawatt coal-fired plant near Holcomb.

The project was later reduced to two plants.

Sunflower Electric and Golden Spread Electric Cooperative of Amarillo, Texas, would own one plant, while Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association of Westminster, Colo., would own the other one. Sunflower would operate the facilities.

Where would the electricity go?

Under the proposal, 85 percent would be sold to out-of-state customers, mostly in Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma.

I want to know whether they have been rejected by other states, and whether they even could be built in other states.

According to Lee Boughey, public relations manager for Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the project has not been pursued elsewhere, so it has never been rejected in another state. Boughey said, however, he believes the project could be approved in other states, such as Colorado, because the plants use state-of-the-art technology to produce as low emissions as possible. He said he couldn’t speculate whether it would be proposed in another state.

What will happen now that the project has been rejected by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment?

Sunflower Electric has said it is considering its legal options. Legislative leaders who supported the project have said they will investigate KDHE’s permit application process.