Golden West Power Partners LLC to Build Wind Farm

This project is currently on hold as Golden West Power Partners LLC and Xcel Energy renegotiate. This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

The Calhan Board of Trustees has approved Golden West Power Partners LLC plans to build 147 turbines atop 425-foot towers on nearly 25,000 acres south of U.S. 24 between Calhan and Ramah.

“This project is a unique opportunity because the wind resource is good, it is in the right location, the legislation is right and the wind blows at the right time,” said Matthew Cumberworth Sr., Golden West’s director of wind energy services. “The site has good consistent wind - about 18 mph to the south southwest at 262 feet.”

Construction of the wind farm is expected to begin in Q1 2014 and create 260 jobs during the time the facility is built, and 10 to 12 permanent jobs once it begins operation in mid-2015. Golden West has leased land from 121 property owners for the project. Each turbine will cost more than one million dollars. The turbines are mostly self-sufficient but there is emergency backup power in case of a problem or the turbines need to be shut down for maintenance or any other reason. “There are no emissions from them these days at all,” said project manager David Hazel. The windmills (developed by General Electric) are also grid-friendly, more so than any previous models.

Electricity generated from the wind farm will be carried over a 25-mile transmission line with 100-foot towers between a Golden West-operated substation near Calhan and another substation in northeastern Colorado Springs. In an agreement that spans 25 years, Xcel will buy all 250 megawatts the El Paso County wind farm will produce, beginning in June 2015. The purchase is part of a plan that Excel proposed in September to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to add 450 megawatts of wind power, 170 megawatts of solar power and 317 megawatts generated from natural gas.

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