Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Colorado
El Paso County commissioners will hear plans today for a major power transmission project that will sweep the southeastern corner of the county. The Eastern Plains Transmission Project aims at constructing 1,000 miles of power lines reaching as tall as 14 stories that could eventually link power on Colorado's eastern plains to southwestern Kansas. It would cut across some of the best wind-energy generation sites in the state, project managers say, and have the capacity for future conversion to such renewable energies.
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.
On remote land near New Castle, wind turbines spin, helping power a plant that produces ethanol, perhaps also with the help of electricity from solar panels. The plant also could tap methane from the coal-rich Grand Hogback and convert it to ethanol. In addition, the plant would make ethanol from biodegradable materials at area landfills, from solid waste from municipalities and septic service companies, and from switchgrass grown by local ranchers. The windmills even could be used to pump water into a nearby reservoir, essentially storing energy that could be tapped through hydroelectric turbines when the water later is released downstream. These are among some ideas being floated by a mix of local investors and out-of-state companies seeking to capitalize on a growing demand for alternative sources of energy.
STERLING — Peetz Table Wind Energy, LLC, was successful in getting several agenda items passed during Tuesday’s Logan County Commissioners meeting, including a Conditional Use Permit for 99 years to expand their wind farm holdings by adding another 134 wind turbines, and approval of a Development Agreement between Logan County and Peetz Table Wind Energy, LLC, laying out regulations for both parties to follow for the duration of the agreement.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- Those old blue northers that can blow you over or spill your coffee cup will be turned to profit within a decade. Within eight years, Colorado State University plans to get all its electric power from its own wind farm at a cost of $100 million to $300 million. The CSU Green Power Project will build a wind farm in northern Colorado that generates more power than the school consumes. It also will include a laboratory for studies on wind power. The area has long been a national wind resource. The university's nonprofit research foundation made a deal with Wind Holding LLC to build the farm on the university's 11,000-acre Maxwell Ranch near the Wyoming border, a very windy area.
Colorado State University said Thursday it plans to develop a wind farm in northern Colorado that would be the largest university-owned wind facility in the world. The project would generate more than enough electricity to power CSU's entire Fort Collins campus. Excess-power sales would generate an estimated $30 million to the university over the next 25 years. The venture is proposed for the 11,000-acre Maxwell Ranch, a property owned by the university near the Wyoming border, and will cost $100 million to $300 million.
STERLING — The County Commission unanimously approved Tuesday a 99-year conditional use permit for Peetz Table Wind Energy, LLC, to construct a generating facility; but at least one person was not that happy about it. “My concern is making sure we preserve the beauty of the canyons,” said Allen Ramey during the public comment portion of the commissioner’s hearing. “To some people they’re ugly and some people love them,” said Jack McLavey, commission chairman, in response to Ramey’s comment. “The primary concern is renewable energy, and at some point we have to move away from fossil fuels.” He added that wind energy is environmentally clean. The exchange ended there, but after the hearing Ramey was not completely satisfied with McLavey’s response.
Two power suppliers wanting to construct 1,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and new substations in Colorado and Kansas are refining the routes for the project, officials said last week. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and the Western Area Power Administration are teaming on the Eastern Plains Transmission Project, which will cost anywhere from $8 million to $1 billion. Randy Wilkerson, a public affairs specialist for Western, said that based on comments from the public during meetings held in September in the affected areas, proposed and alternative routes for the lines have been changed. “We have changed the routes somewhat - we have also began doing some analysis on those routes, looking at them based on 47 different criteria,” Wilkerson said. Wilkerson said among the standards are engineering characteristics, which includes cost and how many miles of line, and land use issues. “All those things have been analyzed. The land-use portion analyzes whether the lines are going through rangeland (or) irrigated crop land and how many residences it’s going by,” Wilkerson said. “We are trying to find a route that has the least impact overall.”
Two local Republican lawmakers are worried that a Democratic senator is planning to hijack their measure to help bring high-voltage transmission lines to rural Colorado. And even if Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, isn’t trying to make HB1150 his own, Sen. Ken Kester and Rep. Cory Gardner said they are afraid the freshman senator, and son of former Gov. Roy Romer, will lead an effort to kill their measure or amend it beyond recognition. Currently, the measure would create a new authority with bonding powers to help renewable energy companies build the transmission lines they need to get that electricity to the state’s power grid.
Permitting for the 550-megawatt gas-fired plant southeast of Fountain is underway, and officials with Invenergy, the company that wants to build the plant, hope construction begins in May with completion in 2009. The company will meet with environmentalists on Wednesday to discuss the plant. The Squirrel Creek Power plant would be able to augment energy from wind generation plants in eastern Colorado, said Doug Carter, vice president of development for Invenergy. “Once you get a plant like this, you can bring in more wind power,” Carter said. “When the wind is blowing, you can back the plant down. When it’s not, you can fire it up.”
Xcel Energy is ahead of schedule with construction of its wind projects, but the utility backed off several others because it can’t get the power to customers’ homes. The reason: a shortage of transmission lines.
The winds of change are a-blowing in northern Logan County, and residents want change done right. The Logan County Commissioners met over an extensive agenda Tuesday morning, mostly addressing expansion and upgrading of wind energy projects near Peetz. The major concern in the meeting was placement of a 230 kW transmission line, and its proximity to residences in the area.
Not yet a trend, not even a fledgling movement, small-scale wind power in urban areas is beginning to grab the attention of a handful of committed energy-efficiency enthusiasts and environmentalists. Last year, 8,400 small wind-powered structures were sold, compared with 4,700 in 2004, according to the American Wind Energy Association. But don't bother if you're simply looking to save money on your electric bill. Urban and suburban corridors in Colorado generally don't have the strong breezes found in rural areas of the state that would make small wind turbines pencil out.
DENVER — Mercury Cafe owner Marilyn Megenity, a self-styled energy activist, drives a biodiesel-fueled car, conserves electricity at her business and voluntarily buys wind power. But by the end of this month, she expects to have something rarely seen in Denver: two power-generating windmills atop her popular downtown restaurant. "I'm very concerned about our nation's energy use, and I want to do something about it," Megenity said. Not yet a trend, not even a fledgling movement, small-scale wind power in urban areas is beginning to grab the attention of a handful of committed energy-efficiency enthusiasts and environmentalists. Last year, 8,400 small wind-powered structures were sold, compared with 4,700 in 2004, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
TRINIDAD - Local ranchers and concerned citizens filled the Massari Performing Arts Center Thursday night to voice frustrations over the proposed Pinon Canyon expansion. While many came with the same complaints and ideas, a new kind of voice emerged from the crowd when one man suggested the area’s potential for wind energy could substantially increase land values. "If it has the potential to be a wind farm, that could bring in a lot of money for the county and the property owner," he said. "If that makes the land too expensive, the army might just decide to go elsewhere. The potential for wind energy could raise the cost of the appraisal value. If that’s added in, it will raise the bottom line."
SPRINGFIELD - A local energy group has received an $80,000 grant to install test towers for a proposed wind farm in Baca County. A group called Baca Green Energy, which consists of local farmers and landowners, is trying to establish a wind farm near Springfield. The group is hoping to build a large wind farm of 100 or more generators.