NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – Harvey County is working to get in a new battery power storage company into the area.
“We’re pretty relentless when comes to making connections,” said Rod Kreie with Harvey County Economic Development. “And putting ourselves in situations to make ourselves more visible.”
Kreie says the county is hopeful the Halstead Industrial Park will be the new site for an industrial storage facility full of big batteries. A company called Concurrent is in talks to see if Harvey County and Halstead are the right fit.
The batteries would be big. Enough to power 200,000 up to 800,000 homes. And it would benefit more than just Harvey County.
“Of course, in the State of Kansas and really throughout the SPP today, we are very rich with wind,” said David Kelley, VP of engineering with the Southwest Power Pool. “And one of the goals of our expansion is to further diversify our resource mix.”
Kelley explains the Southwest Power Pool oversees the regional power grid for at least 15 states. The SPP provides real-time oversight and long-term transmission planning to move power when and where it is needed in times of crisis.
“So when the grid is stressed, it is oftentimes because we are in a period of peak demand,” said Kelley. “So these severe weather events that we have seen happen more frequently in the last several years. There’s a significant interest in developing new technologies across the SPP footprint. Any time we can create additional capacity, it just creates additional flexibility for our operators to make sure they can maintain reliability.”
As Harvey County and Halstead are in talks to power up the grid with big battery storage, the county development team continues work to power up existing businesses.
Park Aerospace has expanded at the Newton/Harvey County Airport in recent years. The county stepped in.
“Business-related activities caused us to expand,” said Cory Nickel. “But when we went to them saying we wanted to expand here, they were more than helpful in getting us what we needed to do to get the land.”
Nickel explains they do composites for airplanes. And he says the original building they use now was completed in 2009.
“Any business model has to look at expansion,” says Nickel. “We are closely looking at what our customers want.”
The county continues to look at what its customers want to keep businesses in the area as well.
“We just continue to put ourselves out there,” said Kreie.