[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Weekly updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

News Watch Home

PUC approves southern Colorado power line  

Credit:  By Greg Griffin, The Denver Post, www.denverpost.com 12 February 2011 ~~

State regulators gave preliminary approval on Friday to a controversial power line in southern Colorado, but opponents vowed to continue fighting.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission gave the green light to a 150-mile, $180 million transmission line that is slated to carry solar and wind energy from the San Luis Valley over La Veta Pass to the Front Range.

The line would cross the Trinchera Ranch, a 171,400-acre property owned by investor Louis Bacon, who opposes the project.

The PUC did not adopt a condition, recommended by an administrative law judge in November, calling for a refund to ratepayers by Xcel Energy if the line does not carry 700 megawatts of new generation 10 years after completion.

The judge recommended that Xcel refund 50 percent of its investment in the line. The cost is being split by Xcel and the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

Xcel, the corporate parent of Public Service Co. of Colorado, threatened to pull out of the project if the condition remained.

“We’re pleased with the decision,” said Xcel spokesman Mark Stutz. “We think that placing a condition on this project with respect to what might transpire in 15 years is bad policy.”

Trinchera Ranch will fight

A Trinchera spokesman said the PUC’s removal of the minimum-transmission condition, which went against the legal and policy recommendations of its staff, will hurt ratepayers.

“The fight will go on,” Cody Wertz said. “We think there are better alternatives out there that not only accomplish the utility’s goals but protect ratepayers and protect a pristine corridor.”

Trinchera can file an appeal of the ruling to the commission, and then appeal it in court, PUC spokesman Terry Bote said.

Trinchera will continue fighting the project as it goes through the federal environmental-impact process, Wertz said.

The ranch also will challenge Xcel and partner Tri-State Generation in their local approvals process, he said.

PUC: It’s our job, not Xcel’s

PUC chairman Ron Binz and commissioner Matt Baker said it was their job, not Xcel’s, to determine if the need for new electricity transmission exists.

“It’s hard to vote against what some call consumer protection, but this isn’t consumer protection,” Binz said. “It’s a backstop for a regulatory agency that’s unsure what it’s doing.”

Commissioner James Tarpey has recused himself from the case because he had discussions with utility executives about transmission issues.

The proposed project involves construction of three high-voltage transmission lines that would connect electrical substations from north of Alamosa to Pueblo. The project also includes a new substation near Walsenburg.

Source:  By Greg Griffin, The Denver Post, www.denverpost.com 12 February 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.