WALSENBURG – Construction has begun on a small five-tower wind farm along Interstate 25 north of Walsenburg, a developer said Wednesday. The farm will supply power to San Isabel Electric.
The $17 million project is separate from a larger wind farm planned by Black Hills Energy on Highway 10 east of Walsenburg.
Black Hills, using Vestas wind towers, plans to begin erecting the first 15 of its site’s planned 50 wind turbines by spring, Huerfano County Administrator John Galusha said.
The Black Hills project has received the county’s approval to go forward, Galusha said.
The wind farm for San Isabel Electric is dubbed the Huerfano River Wind Farm.
Its developer, New Centennial Power LLC, and partners Michels Wind Energy and Huerfano Peak Sand and Gravel, have started building the foundations for the site’s five 1.8-megawatt turbines.
The wind farm site is located near Mile Marker 60 on I-25, about 10 miles north of Walsenburg near San Isabel Electric Association’s Huerfano River Substation.
Each tower will be 240 feet tall with each blade about 141 feet long, for an overall height of about 381 feet. The tower manufacturer is Germany-based REpower.
New Centennial spokesman Chris Schaefer said the project is expected to be completed this summer.
New Centennial handles the design, installation and sale of wind systems.
Schaefer said the Huerfano River Wind Project will sell power to San Isabel Electric, covering 23,000 customers in all or part of seven Southern Colorado counties, including Pueblo West.
The project was first proposed in October 2010.
“The prevailing winds are from the west, representing the strong flow coming out of the gap in the Rocky Mountains that has been cut by the Huerfano River.
“Average wind speed at the site is considered to be between good and excellent in the wind power classifications,” Schaefer said. There are two landowners involved in the project, Schaefer said.
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