Just as the Union County (S.D.) Commission and the Planning and Zoning Commission had done earlier this year, Union County voters on Tuesday approved a referendum that will allow the proposed Hyperion Energy Center to continue moving forward. By an unofficial margin of 57.93 percent to 42.07 percent, county residents approved changing the zoning for the Energy Center site outside Elk Point from agriculture to a planned development.
"This is an important step in siting the Energy Center, for both us and the community" said Project Executive Preston Phillips. "We appreciate the strong support we've received, and we'd like to thank the residents of Union County for voicing their support by approving the referendum. We are committed to being good corporate citizens and we look forward to working with community leaders and being involved in this region in a positive manner for a long time to come," he continued. Last December the Company submitted its Air Permit application, and the Company currently is looking to break ground on the project in 2010.
"We have always believed the people of Union County should have substantial say in whether the project is located here, which is why we supported having this referendum," said Project Executive Corky Frank. "People in this area are excited about the prospects of having 1,800 of good-paying jobs provided by the greenest facility in the country and that support and enthusiasm was clear in today's results. We're looking forward to making additional progress in the permitting process," Frank added.
The Hyperion Energy Center will include a 400,000 barrel-per-day refinery producing ultralow sulfur gasoline and diesel and an IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) power plant. The center will incorporate green principles in its every day functions and integrate only the most advanced commercially feasible emission control technologies in its operations, as spelled out in the company's Green Charter.