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.
The project is “another step in the university’s goal to develop reliable and ecologically sound energy alternatives to fossil fuels and to continue groundbreaking research in this area,” said Larry Penley, president of CSU.
The university will partner with wind-farm developer Wind Holding LLC to build the project. Construction is proposed to start within the next two years.
The project will use a minimum of 25 wind turbines to produce 65 megawatts of power, up to a potential maximum of 75 turbines producing 200 megawatts. At the maximum size, the wind farm would produce enough power to serve a community of about 70,000 people.
“This project illustrates how wind-energy development on state lands can benefit state schools while providing clean, locally produced electricity for CSU,” said Craig Cox, executive director of the Interwest Energy Alliance, a wind-power industry group.
Bruce Morley, chief executive of Wind Holding, said the project could use wind turbines made by Danish firm Vestas Wind, which announced this month it will build a blade-manufacturing plant in Windsor.
Financing for the development would come from a consortium of private-sector lenders led by the New York branch of HSH Nordbank AG, a $225 billion German bank.
Morley said financing commitments are in place. The project still needs environmental and permitting approvals from Larimer County.
By Steve Raabe
Denver Post Staff Writer
29 March 2007
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