Lyon County Energy Center

Location: Topeka, Kan.

Client: Westar Energy

The site selection for a new natural gas-fired combustion turbine peaking plant culminated from a comprehensive site selection study conducted by Burns & McDonnell, which considered numerous criteria including the availability of natural gas, environmental impact, transmission access and community support.

Of the 53 sites originally considered, northern Lyon County, Kan., was selected based on the availability of resources, minimal environmental impact, availability of land and overwhelming community support. In addition to the feedback from the community considered in the site selection study, Burns & McDonnell devised a public involvement plan focused on educating the public and soliciting input from stakeholders.

  • Developing a communication plan that identified objectives, tactics, stakeholders and time table
  • Assisting in development and creation of material such as templates, display boards or fact sheets for multiple open house public meetings
  • Devising a media relations strategy, which involved writing press releases, key speaking points and planning press conference to announce site selection
  • Researching criteria to meet zoning requirements, providing summaries to the project team and providing an overview of the project to the zoning commission