Archive for Wednesday, July 7, 2010

City approves permit for new power plant

The group wanting to build the plant had its permit approved by the city commission tonight.

July 7, 2010


Plans for a new hydro-electric power plant on the Kansas River are moving forward.

Commissioners unanimously approved a special-use permit for the Bowersock Mills and Power Company to build a four-story plant on the north banks of the Kaw.

The plant would be just east of the Kansas River bridges downtown, and the building would be slightly taller than the adjacent river levees. The project also would include canoe docking areas both east and west of the Bowersock Dam, and would include a new fishing platform east of the dam.

Commissioners also started the process of allowing Bowersock to apply for up to $19 million worth of industrial revenue bonds. The bonds would be the responsibility of Bowersock to repay. The city would not back the bonds, but the bonds would allow Bowersock to borrow money at lower interest rates.

Leaders with Bowersock haven’t yet committed to building the plant, but want to have all the necessary permits in place as they search for a wholesale buyer of the electricity the plant would produce.

The plant could receive a key federal permit by Dec. 1. If a buyer for the electricity is found by the end of the year, the plant could be operational by mid-2012.


KS 7 years, 11 months ago

If they build the plant as shown in the LJW a few months ago, I found it more ugly than the proposed library. Who is designing this stuff? Probably the same folks that have done the firestations. Lawrence is a town of great history and some folks just seem hell bent on making it look like the Jetson's live here. Maintain the integrity of the buildings downtown. Something new can also look like something old!

akuna 7 years, 11 months ago

While I haven't seen the proposed design, I wholeheartedly disagree with architecture reflecting old styles. I would prefer if our city developers and citizens embrace a more modern and changing design aesthetic that reflects the current people rather than the people of 150 years ago.

akuna 7 years, 11 months ago

That is not to imply that all modern architecture is better than traditional styles, but more reflective of the times. There are a lot of ugly modern buildings, but there are also a lot of new traditionally designed buildings that are ugly as well.

Jeteras 7 years, 11 months ago

I dont understand,, most of that building could be built underground? a completely redesigned dam could take full advantage of that water energy below level... I am glad this will finally happen.. Think of all the lost energy over the last 50 years that could have been produced!

gccs14r 7 years, 11 months ago

Too bad they didn't replace the dam instead of just dumping a bunch of gravel in front of it. The rotting timbers are still there, slowly failing.

akuna 7 years, 11 months ago

I am pretty sure they poured new concrete barriers when they did all of the work. The old timber may still be there, but they are doing any of the work holding back the water.

jafs 7 years, 11 months ago

How do the bonds work exactly?

Why does the city have to allow Bowersock to sell bonds, and to whom, and why is the rate lower?

I'm glad to hear, by the way, that these will not be city bonds, if that's true.

d_prowess 7 years, 11 months ago

A fishing dock? Are the fish in the river ok to eat, or is this just for recreation?

onlybraininlawrence 7 years, 11 months ago

A clean energy plant would be nice. This community claims to be environmentally responsible, yet Lawrence is home to one of the top ten dirtiest COAL plants in the USA! Are we begging for cancer? Is every green obsessed citizen of Lawrence just a hypocrite? Want to see the proof for yourself?

gccs14r 7 years, 11 months ago

Hey, anytime Westar wants to rip out the coal plant and replace it with wind power, I'll be all for it.

jafs 7 years, 11 months ago

Or we could simply require them to reduce the pollution at the current plants.

Of course, anything they do that costs money will undoubtedly pass the costs on to the customers, so we'd have to be willing to pay a bit more.

gccs14r 7 years, 11 months ago

They could double my kW/h rate if in return they'd get rid of all the fossil fuel-powered generating plants. They could triple it if they'd also get rid of all the nuclear and non-streamline hydro power. Tripling the cost of electricity would strongly encourage conservation, too.

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