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Black Hills, Vestas team on wind plan  

Credit:  By DENNIS DARROW, The Pueblo Cieftain, www.chieftain.com 11 June 2011 ~~

A joint Black Hills Energy and Vestas plan for a small wind farm south of Pueblo in Huerfano County remains under study by the state Public Utilities Commission.

Huerfano County also continues to study the proposal for a wind farm on Busch Ranch land about 20 miles northeast of Walsenburg on Highway 10.

Black Hills hopes to receive approval from both state and county regulators by the fall, according to Chris Burke, the utility’s vice president for Colorado operations.

Black Hills announced the proposal this spring.

The 29-megawatt farm would feature 16 turbines and generate enough power for about 3,800 homes.

Black Hills is partnering on the development with EUI Development LLC. The wind turbines would come from Vestas’ new plants in Colorado, including the tower-making plant in Pueblo.

Black Hills proposes the project as one piece of its plan to comply with Colorado’s tougher renewable energy standard.

The standard requires renewable energy to make up 30 percent of investor-owned utility’s supplies by 2020.

“This wind turbine project is key to our plan to comply with the state renewable energy mandate. Moreover, it will provide local economic development opportunities for southern Colorado,” Burke said.

“We look forward to partnering with Vestas wind tower manufacturers in Pueblo to complete this critical project.”

Construction on the project, which would create approximately 55 jobs for Southern Colorado, would begin in early to mid-2012 if approved by the state PUC and county governments, the utility said.

The construction would be completed by late 2012.

The proposed site of the wind farm is about 30 miles south of Vestas’ Pueblo plant, which is already on Black Hills grid system and features an on-site wind turbine of its own.

Earlier this month, the Busch Ranch property was in the news after a wildfire scorched about 1,000 acres of open land in the area.

Black Hills proposes to extend its transmission grid to the new wind farm to handle both the farm and any future potential projects, Burke said.

In addition to purchasing Vestas towers, Black Hills proposes using area trade industries and cement products in the construction of the farm, Burke said.

Source:  By DENNIS DARROW, The Pueblo Cieftain, www.chieftain.com 11 June 2011

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

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