Library from Colorado

Thinking twice about wind energy

What I remembered most was the quiet solitude, listening to the gentle breezes brush though the grass against my tent. When I arrived at the trailhead I was appalled to see windmills as far as the eye could see to the north and west. Being sadly disappointed, I headed further east in search of more Chalk Bluffs that could afford some good photography. I drove all the way to Sterling and could not find one bit of the plateau without windmills.
31 May 2009

CSU pushes wind farm against firm skepticism

But the project -- which comes with a $400 million to $500 million price tag and is pending large amounts of research to determine its viability -- is not without skepticism. Jackson and the 35 other local residents formed the group to protest the initiative because, they say, preliminary preparations for the project herald a largely unattainable goal, pitting the university's contractor against a mychallenges. The group cited a number of problems that threaten the legitimacy of the project.
11 May 2009

Issues around small wind turbines put on the table

Area residents got to air out their opinions on small wind turbines during a public forum last week. About 50 people attended the April 30 forum to ask questions and voice their opinions regarding small wind generators. Several homeowners in the community have installed or are thinking about installing, small wind turbines to generate electricity at their residences. Community Development Director Bob Joseph presented a slide show of small wind turbines that are being installed in Europe.
6 May 2009

Wind farm work up in the air

Former Colorado State University President Larry Penley garnered national headlines when he announced the plan March 29, 2007, declaring the CSU Green Power Project would be under construction in two years, providing all of the university's power needs and a valuable teaching tool. But today, the university's partner in the project has not yet requested the permits necessary to build the facility at Maxwell Ranch north of Fort Collins and is still determining how to get the power to CSU and other customers.
13 Apr 2009

Wind farm permitting postponed; rural opponents organize

Despite its high-minded claims of providing research opportunities and powering the entire CSU campus, she contended, the Green Power Project actually is a massive commercial enterprise focused on raking in revenues. The claim of powering CSU is a sham unto itself, Milligan maintained, because it's impossible to deliver the wind farm power directly to the university. Instead, she noted, it will go to the substation where the power can be transported anywhere in the nation.
3 Apr 2009

Vestas may have to cut jobs, spending as orders come to standstill

Danish company Vestas is catching some head wind. The world's largest wind-turbine maker on Wednesday said it might reduce jobs and scale back capital spending in Colorado and the United States, unless orders pick up, according to Bloomberg News. Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel said orders from the U.S. "came to a standstill" after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September tightened credit for wind energy developers.
12 Feb 2009

100 mph winds damage Nederland turbine

U.S. Forest Service officials had a tour scheduled Wednesday afternoon to show off to journalists a pair of recently installed wind turbines. But they had to cancel the tour when 100 mph winds damaged one of the turbines Tuesday night. "We were kind of tickled" by the irony, acknowledged Maribeth Pecotte, a spokeswoman in the Forest Service's Boulder Ranger District office. ...The turbine project is costing the Forest Service $171,568 over a 15-year financing contract, Pecotte said.
29 Jan 2009

Judge reviews $2.6M settlement over claims Xcel oversold energy credits

Xcel Energy (XEL), the largest utility in Colorado, is trying to settle a case with the state over allegations that it oversold wind energy credits between 2005 and 2007. An administrative law judge is looking at the $2.6 million proposed settlement, reported the Associated Press. Colorado’s Public Utilities Commission said Xcel sold more credits for wind energy generation than what it actually produced from wind farms in its Windsource program.
15 Jan 2009

Ritter's PC projects will cost us all

In the 20 years I have lived in Colorado, I have seen the transition from a growing, functional economy into an economy that increasingly relies on obscure, "politically correct" subsidies such as solar- and wind-power generation that are touted as solutions to our economic woes. ...these partisan policies are undermining Colorado's economy.
13 Jan 2009

Xcel eyes deal in wind probe

Xcel Energy will use $2.6 million in shareholder money for a proposed settlement following a state investigation into the utility's voluntary wind- energy program. Under the pending agreement, Xcel will refund $1.6 million this year to Windsource customers and spend another $1 million to purchase renewable-energy credits that will ensure customers receive the alternative power for which they pay a premium price.
9 Jan 2009

Xcel plan oversold in 2000; Investigation says wind overbilling went on for years.

Xcel Energy oversold wind energy credits as far back as 2000 for a program in which customers voluntarily pay a premium for wind-generated power, according to an investigation by Colorado Public Utilities Commission staff. A settlement is looming related to Xcel's excess collections for the Windsource program from 2005 to 2007, which was disclosed earlier this week.
27 Dec 2008

Xcel overbilled for wind plan; Company balks at PUC suggestion to refund more than $1.5 million to program's funders

Xcel Energy overcollected more than $1.5 million from customers who voluntarily pay a premium for wind- generated electricity, according to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission staff. From 2005 to 2007, the state's largest utility sold credits for more green power than it generated at the wind farms in its Windsource program. Xcel knew it would have a production shortfall in the program but "failed to act".
23 Dec 2008

Lights out? State faces energy crisis by 2025; Colorado Energy Forum seeking solutions to transmission, generating issues

The state needs to come up with nearly 5,000 megawatts of electricity to satisfy the needs of the state by 2025 ...Northeast Colorado has been rightly billed as a wind energy mecca. The problem is wind energy cannot be the end-all, according to Sonnenberg. Supporting a statement made earlier by CREA Executive Director Ray Clifton, Sonnenberg said wind energy resources are available only 10 to 35 percent of the time. "Even if we estimate liberally, we still will not meet the 4,500 megawatts by 2025," he said.
16 Dec 2008

Anschutz moving ahead, Pickens' plan delayed

Despite the recession, Denver oilman Philip Anschutz is moving ahead with his Wyoming wind farm project. ..."Nothing has really changed. We're still pursuing the transmission line and the wind farm," said Jim Monaghan, an Anschutz spokesman. "There's no change in our plans."
5 Dec 2008

Vestas cleans up flammable spill

A Sunday morning leak in a paint thinner pipe at the Vestas Blades paint building allowed about 20 to 30 gallons of the flammable material to be spilled. ...The spill is believed to be the first of its kind at the $60 million wind turbine blade manufacturing plant located on an 80-acre site in the Great Western Industrial Park.
18 Nov 2008

Grand County planners consider height limits for wind turbines

Colorado ranks fourth nationwide when it comes to solar and geothermal resources and 11th in terms of wind power generation potential, according to online Renewable Energy World. It also has untapped hydroelectric and biomass resources. ...The Grand County planning commission is reviewing the allowable height of wind turbine towers. Currently, the county height restriction allows for a tower of 35 feet. Guy Larson of the Granby-based alternative energy solutions company Simply Efficient said "the taller the better," when it comes to harnessing wind power.
6 Nov 2008

Wind farm could have 100 turbines

Details about Colorado State University's proposed wind farm should surface soon as the university proceeds toward applying for the necessary county permits early next year. That wind farm could include as many as 100 turbines constructed in or near CSU's 9,000-acre Maxwell Ranch property some 25 miles northwest of Fort Collins near the Colorado-Wyoming border.
1 Oct 2008
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