Articles from Colorado
The El Paso County Planning Commission, following an 11.5 hour hearing on Jan. 6 voted 6-3 to recommend denial of Next Era Energy Resources' amended application for a proposed wind farm at Calhan.
Laura Foye, a resident who received the letter from NextEra and another notification from the county, said she has spoken with Gil several times to try to better understand the project. “When it was first approved, it was going to bring in jobs and money,” she said. “Now, NextEra says that first route is going to be far too expensive for them; and, essentially, they just want to do something that’s less costly and less difficult.
Denver Colorado Republicans want to roll back the state's renewable energy mandates, and with greater numbers in the state Legislature this year — along with falling energy prices — party leaders are feeling more confident about their chances.
Speakers at the recent American Wind Energy Association conference held at the University of Denver identified significant challenges: inadequate transmission, lack of certainty about the production tax credit, and the chilling effect that the death of eagles in turbine blades has had in siting decisions. ...After the session, one of the wind industry members confided that indeed it’s not all wine and roses for the industry. “Transmission and eagles – they’re both huge.”
National Wind’s filing for bankruptcy appears to be in the final stages, reported Phillips County commissioners at their Sept. 30 meeting. ...The report was an update to the April 23 notification that National Wind had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Minnesota.
Pueblo police say the Vestas transport trailer hauling the tower piece struck the median. Equipment failure on part of the trailer appears to have caused the wreck, according to police.
Pueblo police Cpt. Charlie Taylor said it's a miracle the crash wasn't much worse. "Just by pure luck no one was going the other way and no one was hurt," Taylor said.
“Coloradans treasure their environment. This bill will protect our sacred Bald Eagles and other bird species that currently are being killed in alarming numbers,” Senator Balmer said. “This legislation will require prudent steps renewable energy producers must take as they site and operate their facilities.”
Black Hills wants to increase utility rates by 4 percent starting next year to make up for the construction cost of a wind farm in Huerfano County. "I'm here to absolutely oppose this rate increase," Kiera Hatton said to Administrative Law Judge Robert Garvey.
In its filings with the PUC, Black Hills is asking for the rate increase to cover the costs of a $50 million wind farm and leftover costs from building its $500 million Pueblo Area Generating Station. Some of those costs are high-interest debt that the state Office of Consumer Counsel argues shouldn’t be passed on to Pueblo ratepayers.
Jones said Black Hills Energy is asking for a four percent electric rate increase to pay for construction of a wind farm that was built in Huerfano County in 2010. The increase would be about a $4 hike in a customers' monthly utilities bill.
In the future, the wind industry should expect that in-state preferences and distributed generation requirements will be the focus of Commerce Clause attacks. Although these provisions can be justified. the strict standard of review applied to discrimination among states will create more risk for these provisions.
Meanwhile, whirling turbine blades and electrical lines running to oil and gas facilities and wind farms have been linked to golden eagle deaths. Nobody has a good handle on how many eagles and other raptors are caught in blades or electrocuted; scientists have calculated in peer-reviewed articles that turbines kill at least 60 to 65 golden eagles a year nationwide.
A group of residents in Parker, starting in the Rowley Downs neighborhood, and Aurora have formed the group Halt the Power Lines, which opposes a transmission project that will take electricity overhead lines from the Daniels Park substation in Castle Pines, through northern Parker and through Aurora up to the Smoky Hills substation.
A dozen people spoke against the project at the Dec. 19 commission meeting, with concerns related to noise and property values, among other things. ...The project probably will qualify for wind energy production tax credits, he says, by acquiring the farm just before they expired last year.
Xcel wants the utilities to pay for its costs associated with having supplies of reserve power ready to go in case the wind suddenly dies, said Terri Eaton, Xcel’s director of federal regulatory and compliance efforts. Currently, those costs are paid by Xcel’s business and residential customers, Eaton said.
If the Tenth Circuit upholds Judge Martinez’s decision, the challenge — and other constitutional challenges to RPS programs and their provisions — could discourage the adoption of programs in additional states, or the expansion of existing programs. “If you don’t know how far you can go, it’s difficult for a state legislator to say, ‘OK, let’s do this.’”
Wind energy might be great: we would commend any energy producer who found a way to provide efficient, inexpensive, abundant, reliable, and clean energy, regardless of the source. If it worked as Sen. Udall and his allies claim, we as consumers might even support it with our hard-earned dollars. If the product is inferior to its competition and more expensive (unless buoyed by tax-credits), we wouldn't make that investment-our money is better off elsewhere.
Black Hills Energy is asking the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for a 3.7 percent rate increase for its electric customers, a hike the utility wants to recover $70 million it spent on a new wind farm near Walsenburg and other expenses.
I started thinking about it in a larger context, how the Great Plains have been this really abused area of the country. You can go back to the buffalo hunts and the genocides of Native Americans. We have nuclear weapons out there. We’ve drilled and spilled oil and gas, and now we’re fracking and building wind turbines. Most people don’t see this area. It’s flyover country. When you spend a lot of time there it really hits home what we’re doing in the name of consumption and the whole sociological impact people have on the environment.”