Eagle Valley Clean Energy's proposed 11.5-MW wood- biomass plant for Gypsum, Colorado, given green light by town council, could break ground by mid-summer
March 14, 2012
– Eagle Valley Clean Energy (EVCE) LLC's proposed 11.5-MW wood- biomass plant for Gypsum, Colorado, has received a green light from the town council, Eagle Valley Enterprise reported March 14.
Council members on Tuesday approved the final reading of annexation, zoning and agreements for the plant in a 6-1 vote.
EVCE’s Dean Rostrom said he now hopes the company can break ground by mid-summer on the plant, scheduled to go online toward the end of 2013.
The 16-acre site directly east of the town’s American Gypsum plant is part of a 93-acre parcel Eagle Valley Clean Energy is buying from LaFarge North America.
The council members all agreed the project had the potential to deliver jobs, renewable energy and help with fire mitigation. A thorny issue for some was the plant’s proposed location along the Eagle River, an area that comes under the Eagle River Area Plan created by the town in 2008 to guide development along the river corridor east of American Gypsum.
EVCE’s attitude during the planning process, however, seems to have contributed to the company winning the council’s support. The mayor pointed out how well EVCE had worked with the town, in some cases “bending over backwards” to meet everything that was asked of it.
According to the Eagle Valley Enterprise, EVCE is also negotiating a possible land deal and public-private partnership to preserve upwards of 60 acres of its property's riparian habitat and maintain public access.
Although the plant has its opponents, local residents who have supported the project during Gypsum Town Council meetings saw benefits in the burning of forest residues, and thus having a positive impact on forest health and wildfire prevention.
One speaker at a recent meeting who grew up northern Wisconsin near a biomass plant on Lake Superior said pollution there had not been a problem for the people or fish.
The primary source of this article is the Eagle Valley Enterprise, Eagle, Colorado, March 12, 2012.