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Second wind farm planned for Southeastern Colorado

Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of 2007.

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Another 50 wind turbines, similar to these near Lamar, are planned for Southeastern Colorado

LAS ANIMAS - With growing public concern about high gasoline prices and a dependence on foreign oil, wind energy stands as a potential beacon for the nation's commitment to developing renewable sources of energy.

With a constant breeze blowing between the long prairie vistas in the middle of endless cattle-ranching country, Southeastern Colorado soon will be home to a second large wind farm project - this one in Bent County.

PPM Energy, ScottishPower's competitive U.S. energy business, announced Wednesday it will begin construction this fall on the 75-megawatt Twin Buttes Wind Power Project west of Lamar in the southeast corner of Bent County.

PPM officials did not have an exact date for the beginning of construction, but did say the company will begin building roads and pouring foundations for the project in the fall. Turbines will be delivered and erected in the spring, officials said.

Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of 2007.

“PPM Energy is delighted to bring online a second wind power project in Colorado for customers of Xcel Energy,” said PPM Energy CEO Terry Hudgens.

“With Twin Buttes and other new... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
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Another 50 wind turbines, similar to these near Lamar, are planned for Southeastern Colorado

LAS ANIMAS - With growing public concern about high gasoline prices and a dependence on foreign oil, wind energy stands as a potential beacon for the nation's commitment to developing renewable sources of energy.

With a constant breeze blowing between the long prairie vistas in the middle of endless cattle-ranching country, Southeastern Colorado soon will be home to a second large wind farm project - this one in Bent County.

PPM Energy, ScottishPower's competitive U.S. energy business, announced Wednesday it will begin construction this fall on the 75-megawatt Twin Buttes Wind Power Project west of Lamar in the southeast corner of Bent County.

PPM officials did not have an exact date for the beginning of construction, but did say the company will begin building roads and pouring foundations for the project in the fall. Turbines will be delivered and erected in the spring, officials said.

Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of 2007.

“PPM Energy is delighted to bring online a second wind power project in Colorado for customers of Xcel Energy,” said PPM Energy CEO Terry Hudgens.

“With Twin Buttes and other new projects announced, as well as turbines secured and a strong development pipeline for the future, PPM has increased our goal by over 50 percent to develop or control at least 3,500 MW of new wind power by 2010,” Hudgens said.

The Twin Buttes project will run adjacent to the Colorado Green Wind Power project, the fifth largest wind farm in the nation and the largest in the state. It spans across 11,840 acres of grassland between Lamar and Springfield.

With 108 wind turbines on line, the Lamar wind farm, which is jointly owned by PPM Energy and Shell WindEnergy Inc., is located 23 miles south of Lamar.

Power generated by the Twin Buttes project will be delivered under a long-term contract to Colorado customers of Xcel Energy. Xcel also receives the entire output of the Colorado Green Wind Project.

The project will span approximately 9,000 acres owned by seven landowners.

PPM officials say the actual footprint of the turbines covers less than 2 percent of the total acreage. The remainder continues to be used for ranching and grazing. The Twin Buttes project will use 50 GE 1.5 MW turbines.

Strong winds in the flat, dusty Southeast have become the area's best friend as the project is expected to create an average of between 40 and 50 jobs during construction. In addition to the creation of five to six full-time jobs in the community, the project initially is expected to provide several hundred thousand dollars a year in property tax revenues.

Bent County commissioners on Wednesday were ecstatic about the future project.
 
"We are very pleased with this," Bent County Commissioner Bill Long said. "Although it will not have a lot of employment, it will definitely improve our tax-base and our property tax revenue which is pretty critical at this time."

"We are glad that this will be in Bent County," Long added.

Lynden Gill, also a Bent County commissioner, said the project took almost two years to develop.

"We are excited about this because we've been talking about this for a couple of years and we are glad to see it's a reality. We look forward to working with PPM and providing renewable energy for the region," Gill said.

Commissioner Frank Wallace said the project will help provide alternative energy and it will help provide income for farmers and ranchers.

"This is one of the greatest things that has happened to our county. It's a long-term thing. I am 100 percent behind it and I hope we get more projects like this in the future," Wallace said.

Gill said the announcement couldn't have come at a better time.

"Southeast Colorado is seeing some pretty tough times with the ongoing drought, so this certainly will be a boost to the Bent County economy and to the region," Gill said.

Long said renewable energy is very important to the future of the country.

"These kind of projects can really be beneficial for Southeast Colorado and hopefully we can get additional transmission so we can have other wind farm expansions. We are also hopeful that a coal-fired power plant can be built somewhere in Southeast Colorado.

In November 2004, Colorado voters approved a standard that will require Xcel Energy and other utilities to secure 10 percent of their energy sales from renewable energy by 2015. Xcel, which already is the nation's leading utility for wind power purchases, will have approximately 2,500 megawatts of wind power in 10 states by the end of 2007. Approximately one-third of Xcel's wind generation is located within Colorado.

“The Twin Buttes project will be an integral part of our efforts to meet Colorado's Least-Cost (Resource) Plan and our voter-approved Renewable Energy Standard. PPM Energy's project also increases the utilization of a highly desirable wind power region of our state, and we will be able to take advantage of existing transmission resources to deliver this clean wind energy to our customers,” said Karen Hyde, Xcel Energy director for purchased power.

In a statement released Wednesday, Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., praised the project.

“I am very pleased that PPM Energy is building another wind power project on the Eastern Plains of Colorado,” Salazar said. “There is great potential for wind energy in Eastern Colorado and a need to expand transmission capacity so that we can tap into that potential. As our nation moves to reduce its dependence on foreign sources of energy, Colorado is leading the way with clean energy produced from renewable resources. I will continue to fight so that Washington adopts policies, such as the renewable production tax credit, that encourage and enable wind energy projects, such as Twin Buttes, to be built in Colorado.”


Source: http://www.chieftain.com/me...

MAY 25 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2774-second-wind-farm-planned-for-southeastern-colorado
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