Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Colorado

Wind farm controversy continues

Donna Bryant owns two properties close to the transmission lines that NextEra wants to reroute. She said if she had known about the changes at the time she purchased the properties, she would not have offered “a dollar” for them. “I bought this house 14 months ago. I offered more than the asking price because I wanted the view,” Bryant said. “I’m a combat vet, and I’m here in my retirement home — and I don’t want to be encroached upon.”
7 Feb 2015

Proposed wind farm project draw ire of some residents

Regardless of the farm's potential economic benefits - or even whether the power line gets put above ground - the project's transformation of the plains south of Calhan is hard to face for residents such as Laura Foye to accept. Foye, who is horrified by the prospect of power lines transversing her rural neighborhood, has spent months absorbing information she can about wind farms.
2 Feb 2015

Power struggle: In Peyton and Falcon, anger over changes to an energy project is blowing in the wind

If you think NIMBY attitudes run deep in suburbs and gated communities, try the countryside. Many of these folks don't want a damn thing in their backyard. So when a large wind farm was approved by the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners in December 2013 for the Calhan area — after years of delays and switches in ownership — there were quite a few people who didn't like it.
21 Jan 2015

Lovely detritus, ugly innovation: Kevin O’Connell evaluates the nation’s energy infrastructure

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.”
13 Feb 2014

A land grab for renewable energy?

But a conference held in Denver earlier this month gave a sobering preview of major land decisions ahead for this nation. Experts at CLE International's convention on Historic Preservation and Tribal Consultation: Energy & Transmission Projects predicted that energy projects will be bigger and come faster than any of us foresee, with great impacts on ethnographic and rural historic districts.
25 Feb 2011

Artists not blown over by windfarms

Residents of a small Colorado artists' colony have galvanized resistance against three proposed wind farms, authorities say. The 880 writers and artists comprising La Veta live two miles from the proposed 7,000-acre Silver Mountain Wind Farm. The town council voted down the 150-megawatt facility and wants a moratorium on new wind projects until the county updates its land use regulations and master plan, The Denver Post reported Sunday.
29 Nov 2009

Colorado town kicks up resistance to proposed wind farms

Huerfano County, which straddles the Eastern Plains and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is facing a wind rush. Three wind-farm projects - particularly one near scenic La Veta Pass - have galvanized grassroots opposition and posed a challenge for county planning officials. "When voters and legislators adopted renewable-energy goals, I don't know if they were thinking of turning rural Colorado into an industrial zone," said Dawn Blanken, a La Veta councilwoman.
29 Nov 2009

Renewable energy does have its price

Wind farms and solar power plants may offer free fuel costs and no carbon-dioxide emissions, but don't assume there's universal support from environmentalists, according to industry observers. "The world is changing," said Andrew Spielman, a partner at the Denver office of Hogan & Hartson LLC who works on renewable-energy projects. ..."There are more complexities with renewable projects," he said, "and it's no longer an assumption that the environmental community will approve and support renewable projects."
31 Jul 2009

Ranch joins power line opposition

Xcel Energy and the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association have filed with the commission for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the lines, which the companies say will increase the reliability of the grid in the valley and increase their ability to export electricity generated from wind and solar farms in Southern Colorado. ...An administrative law judge will hold a pre-hearing conference Friday in Denver to consider the intervention requests. The utilities commission has until Jan. 26 to decide on the applications by Xcel and Tri-State.
21 Jun 2009

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

Wind farm raises environmental impact concerns

A giant wind farm in northeast Weld County may be a groundbreaking model of how to generate clean, renewable energy while protecting wildlife occupying the same space. But it's also been on the receiving end of some environmental criticism. ...Ken Strom, director of bird conservation for Audubon Colorado, said he is disappointed that Cedar Creek's developers did not move all the turbines away from the escarpment. "In terms of the outcome of the hearings, I don't think (our concerns) were adequately addressed," he said. "I think they tried to meet a number of our concerns but they fought to move a minimum of the turbines." Strom notes that some birds will be killed as a result of having the turbines within their traditional nesting areas and others will simply avoid the area out of fear of the constantly whooshing towers.
28 Mar 2008

Wind power can save energy, blow your mind

Wind power has all the ingredients of a good brain-buster. The energy that windmills produce helps to preserve the environment, but the giant wind generators themselves have to be added to the environment. Wind power is making us redefine what we consider pollution. Windmills may not billow black smoke that requires scrubbing or leak hazardous radiation, but they make a lot of noise and can change a scenic horizon or ridgeline into a jumble of tinker-toy technology. Like dams in rivers, they interrupt the free flow of natural settings.
18 Aug 2007

School’s wind power plan raises noise, viewshed issues

SEI, the school for renewable energy and sustainable housing technology, won approval June 4 from the Board of County Commissioners for its bid to erect a 106-foot-high tower on its year-old Paonia campus. The tower will support an electricity generating turbine with blades spanning 12 feet to be used for class instruction and to produce power for the school's use. The BoCC, sitting with commission chair Jan McCracken absent, voted 2-0 in favor of the schools proposal after hearing comments from neighbors both in support and opposition of the plan.
29 Jun 2007

Talk about winds of change

So you plant your feet in the gritty soil beneath the whirring monsters that seem to brush the blue sky and you feel the hot wind dancing from the south and for a long time you just stare. This is wind energy. And one day, many scientists believe, it will drive the world. Of course, not everyone has that sense of awe over the whole thing. Take rancher Bob Emick. Inside his home, which sits smack in the middle of 98 of the science fiction-looking turbines...He leans on one elbow, glances out a window and watches a rotor spin. "I guess," he said, "you just get used to them."
24 Jun 2007

View at Pawnee changes; First of nearly 300 turbines dot horizon at grasslands

The view brought mixed emotions to the Riters. "To be honest, I was shocked when I first saw them," said 66-year-old Karl Riters, who enjoys hiking, backpacking and volunteering with the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers. "I saw them from maybe eight miles away and I started hoping that as I got closer they wouldn't be that apparent. But the closer we got, the worse it looked. I'm all for reducing carbon emissions, but when out in a desolate area like this, you don't want to see that." Lori Bell, the grasslands' acting district manager, said she has received numerous complaints about the turbines. She said there is nothing the U.S. Forest Service can do because the wind farm is on private land.
23 Jun 2007
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