February 22, 2011

Wind farm firm pulls out of county

By Steve Block, Staff writer, TTi, trinidad-times.com

The developer of a proposed wind farm project in Las Animas and Huerfano counties has stopped plans for the project.

The Cordova Wind Farm was planned by E.On Climate & Renewables, an international energy company with its U.S. headquarters in Chicago. The wind farm was to have been located in the Cordova Mesa area northeast of Aguilar, with part of it in Huerfano County to the north.

Last week, the Las Animas County Board of Commissioners agreed to repay unexpended funds in the amount of $16,562.71 from a pre-paid application fee deposit paid by E.On for consideration of a wind farm under state regulations.

The project failed to move forward because Excel Energy, which had intended to buy the electricity generated by the wind farm, rescinded its bid for the power. Without a buyer for its anticipated electricity, E.On could not proceed with the project.

E.On was required to get approval of two permits from the counties involved to go ahead with the project. The first was a 1041 Regulations permit, which allows counties to authorize the adoption of regulations and activities and developments that they consider to be in the state’s best interests, requiring mitigation of possible negative impacts and providing for public input concerning the development. The permit relates to technical issues such as soil analyses and potential impact on archeological and agricultural interests. A special use permit was also required for the project.

The county also revised its land-use regulations last summer, providing for wind farm-specific parameters that had not previously existed under county regulations.

The wind farm was expected to generate 15 to 20 jobs when completed. E.On had been required to make provision for the eventual decommissioning of the project. E.On had planned to pay Las Animas County $5,000 annually for each wind turbine it built. In the fifth year of the project, a $10,000 annual payment per turbine would have kicked in. In the wind farm’s 10th year, it would have begun providing the county with an annual payment of $15,000 per turbine. All of these funds would have been intended for the eventual decommissioning of the wind farm project.

County Administrator Bill Cordova said that it was unfortunate that the wind farm project could not be completed. Cordova said in a telephone interview that he was unaware of any other wind farm projects planned for the county in the near future.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2011/02/22/wind-farm-firm-pulls-out-of-county/