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Associated Press

SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) - Buffalo Power Co. LLC has added Johnson and Campbell counties to its list of possible sites for a methane-fired power plant, on top of two proposed sites in Sheridan County.

Cheyenne attorney Perry Dray, who is representing the company, said it has become less likely that the plant will be built in Sheridan County.

Dray said Wednesday that a decision on the site will be made after a location study is completed within a week or two.

Several Sheridan residents have spoken against building on a site four miles southeast of town, saying the plant would be an eyesore there and would harm property values.

The company has proceeded to work toward securing a conditional use permit in Sheridan County but has become concerned that going ahead with the site near Sheridan would result in delays in court, Dray said.

"This is a time-driven project," he said. "Buffalo Power cannot make a $170 million investment, then be tied up in courts."

The figure includes building the plant, as well as pipelines to bring water from Lake DeSmet, and power lines to export electricity.

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In a letter to the County Commission dated Thursday, Dray wrote: "Buffalo Power's experience to date is that the public in Sheridan County discourages industrial development and quite frankly is not open for business."

According to other letters to commissioners, as well as earlier statements by Earl Madsen, a partner in and spokesman for Buffalo Power, the company is no longer considering the Sheridan area site, although it is still looking at a site near Arvada.

The plant would be fueled by coal-bed methane. Under the proposal to build southeast of Sheridan, the plant would use water from Lake DeSmet by way of a 12-inch, 22-mile-long pipeline.

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