It was announced earlier this year, with little fanfare of course, that the biodiesel portion of the three-plant complex has been put on hold indefinitely, apparently because of financial concerns and the desire to at least get two of the plants running. So much for the "symbiotic relationship" between the three plants, something that was to set this plant apart from any other run-of-the-mill coal and ethanol plant in the country. The ethanol portion of the complex has been receiving the most attention in terms of construction during the spring and summer months, and work has been steady over the past 6-8 months. The latest information states that testing of this facility will begin in November and the plant will come on-line early in 2008. This would put it a full 18 months behind the original proposal, but it does appear to be moving forward. Meanwhile, work on the coal-fired plant has been at a much slower pace. The plant still appears to have a ways to go as girders are still the dominant feature when viewed at a distance. This plant is scheduled to become operational sometime in the summer of 2008. The latest talk in the local newspaper is that the 6.5 miles of power line, intended to link the coal plant to the city power grid, will be starting construction soon.
On a side note, it is interesting that suddenly, out of nowhere, Mark Justus and Renewable Energy Resources (which first came to Goodland 2.5 years ago promising a wind energy project that turned into a three-facility coal and chemical plant complex) are now announcing that indeed a wind energy project for the area WILL occur. The timing is quite interesting since Renewable Energy Resources hasn't made a peep about wind energy for over two years, and now that a new local start-up wind energy company announced its plans to make wind energy available in the area, all of a sudden Renewable Energy announces that it too will finally follow through and provide wind energy. Of course this was news to the city of Goodland according to the newspaper. It seems the city had sent a contract to Mark Justus over two years ago and never heard anything back. Mr Justus apparently never saw any contract and knew nothing about it. In addition, it seems Mark Justus has all these plans for wind energy for Goodland, yet he has failed to make any type of contact with the city in two years to let them know of his grand scheme. Early this year it appeared Mr Justus was no longer involved in this project, but apparently he still is.
Clean, renewable wind energy is the way to go. Hopefully someone can take advantage of this limitless power source we have available here on the High Plains. A far better alternative to the coal plant currently under construction.