Articles filed under General from Colorado
"Cleaner air and cheaper energy" was the slogan when voters mandated wind and other renewable sources for 10 percent of the state's electric generation with Amendment 37 in 2004. Democratic legislators liked the idea so much that they upped the mandate to 20 percent in 2007 and boosted it this year to 30 percent. One small problem: Neither half of the slogan is true.
The biggest wind farm in Colorado and one of the largest wind turbine arrays in the nation is about to become even bigger if it gets the green light from Weld County. BP Alternative Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BP - formerly British Petroleum - has submitted an application to expand its Cedar Creek wind farm east of Grover in northeastern Weld County.
A proposed 100-turbine wind farm on Colorado State University's 11,000 acres Maxwell Ranch north of Fort Collins is still on hold. An agreement between the CSU Research Foundation and Wind Holding LLC was terminated Oct 31 when Wind Holding - the contracted developer of the project - failed to meet the terms of the contract.
A new report from Colorado's natural gas industry says increased use of wind energy indirectly results in raised pollution levels produced by some coal-fired power plants along the Front Range. ...Cycling operations at coal plants -- ramping them up or down in response to the wind or other issues -- causes them to run less efficiently and also interferes with emissions control equipment.
The expansion of a wind farm in northeast Weld County was approved by the Weld County Planning Commission on Tuesday following some last-minute changes by the company proposing to build it. The first phase of the Cedar Creek facility, about eight miles east of Grover, began full commercial operation in January 2008, according to BP Wind Energy.
A company once expected to help fill the sails of the Colorado Springs economy now appears to have vanished into thin air. Prevailing Power, the Shenandoah, Iowa, company owned by Steve and Pam Stultz, who planned to bring a spinoff named Rocky Wind Power to Colorado Springs, shut its doors last week, leaving many customers with half-completed or malfunctioning wind turbine systems.
Thanks to Colorado's renewable portfolio standard, wind power is a "must take" resource for Public Service, meaning the utility must incorporate wind power into the grid even if it means ramping down a coal-fired plant. Now, Gov. Ritter and Democrats in Denver want to increase the renewable portfolio standard by 50 percent through House Bill 1001, without considering the consequences for Denver's air quality. Despite the $2 billion worth of new wind turbines installed since 2004, Denver's air quality has not improved.
After feuding all session over business issues, Republicans and Democrats in the Colorado Legislature finally teamed up together Monday - to kill a resolution that was brought forward by the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce. Senate Joint Resolution 15, sponsored by Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton, encouraged Colorado employers to add a publicly traded renewable-energy company to the 401(k) retirement plans that they offer employees.
A bill that would have made the wind blowing across your land a private property right unto itself was tabled indefinitely last week after a state study said the bill would have created a new way to tax landowners, but its sponsor says "severing" wind rights still has legs. House Bill 1158, sponsored by Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, was shelved, but Gardner said Friday that landowners on the Eastern Plains are starting to deed away their wind rights and the law isn't clear about how that figures into property rights in Colorado.
The first-quarter production shutdown at Vestas' wind turbine blade plant in Windsor will continue as planned, the company said Tuesday, despite an order for 18 wind turbines for a Canadian wind farm.
Vestas Wind Systems is in line to receive about $6 million in state and local incentives at the plants where it plans furloughs or a hiring freeze, according to state and federal reports. Copenhagen-based Vestas said Monday it would furlough the 500 workers at its Windsor blade factory in the first half of 2010.
The Estes Park Town Board approved an ordinance extending the temporary moratorium on the issuance of building permits for wind turbines within Town limits. The moratorium will continue through March 8 unless amended or terminated by the Town Board.
Vestas' revised timeline for ramping up its Pueblo tower plant remains unchanged by a plan for short-term idling of its existing blade plant in Windsor, a Vestas executive said Tuesday. Vestas is nearing completion and final testing of its Pueblo tower assembly plant. A limited number of tower sections have been built as part of the ongoing work to ready the plant.
Community development director Bob Joseph told the Estes Valley Planning commissioners Tuesday night that a public meeting held last Thursday night regarding residential wind turbine regulations has led to some useful discussions. "We're starting to see people's opinions form," he said. "We're hearing them. We will continue with this effort to get some kind of code adopted during the moratorium."
Estes Park residents are clear about one thing on renewable energy -- they want to be green. However, they don`t want to be an ugly chartreuse or industrial shade or go into the red for a technology that might not be effective here. Yet, they want options and to be independent, while not offending their neighbors. Planning commissioners took residents` words to heart Tuesday night and continued the discussion concerning small wind-generating systems to the Dec. 15 meeting.
While many residents may like the feel of Estes Park wind in their hair and the "feel-good" idea of wind turbines used to generate power, many others do not like the idea of whirling wind turbine blades in their neighborhoods. They said as much to the planning commission at its special meeting concerning regulating small wind energy conversion systems last week. However, as much as they objected to the idea of wind turbines in their back yards, the opponents seemed to favor the concept of creating a wind farm in Estes Park.
To add to the hot/cold air swirling around the subject of wind turbines in Estes Park, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) said last month there are challenges in making small residential wind turbines workable here. ...There is currently a moratorium on wind turbines, until Dec. 9. The public is invited to attend and comment at the meeting, as commissioners consider draft regulations on small-scale residential wind turbines, based on input received in a recent public survey.
A Wyoming wind power developer, Wind Holding LLC, has lost its $500 million contract with Colorado State University to build a wind farm at Maxwell Ranch near the Wyoming-Colorado border. Wind Holding was to finance and build the wind farm on land leased from the university. CSU and Wind Holding would then sell the power to recoup construction costs. Wind Holding was not chosen through a competitive bidding process, but instead had approached the university.
The Colorado State University Research Foundation announced Nov. 2 that it could not reach agreement with Wind Holding LLC on a path forward for development of the Maxwell Ranch wind farm. Given the expiration of the Oct. 31 deadline for Wind Holding to cure problems in its lease, the foundation has found the private company officially in default.
A weak market for wind turbines in the U.S. will slow job growth at Vestas Wind Systems' four Colorado plants, Ditlev Engel, the company's chief executive, said Tuesday. "When the world's biggest market takes a breather for a year, it's tough," Engel said in a telephone interview.