FORT COLLINS – CSU is exploring the possibility of building a wind farm at the university’s Eastern Colorado Research Center in Akron, a lead engineer for CSU said Friday.
CSU wants to build an approximately 20-megawatt wind farm on 3,000 acres at the research center, said Carol Dollard, CSU’s lead facilities engineer.
The university has signed a development agreement with Boulder’s juwi Wind to develop the wind farm. If a wind farm were built, CSU would buy electricity generated by the wind farm, which juwi would own and operate.
“Basically what the agreement says is (juwi) will eat all the development costs with the agreement that if we can come up with a viable project,” she said.
Dollard mentioned the wind farm during a panel discussion featuring sustainability experts from the city of Fort Collins and CSU’s Center for the New Energy Economy. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, also spoke at the event.
Transmission lines would carry electricity generated by the farm to Fort Collins under the proposal, Dollard said.
“We’re looking at utility-scale wind… 3,000 acres is a lot of land work with,” she said.
The university is in the early stages of the project. It’s unknown how much the project could cost, or when it could be built. Renewable energy projects at CSU can take years to complete.
The city of Fort Collins could be involved with any project, though it hasn’t worked out details, said Bruce Hendee, chief sustainability officer for the city.
“It’s something we’re very interested in,” he said. “We would be financial partners in it… What form that takes is to be defined through some intergovernmental agreement with CSU.”
Polis said he was excited to hear about the project.
“I wish that every municipality and every university in every state had these kinds of stories to tell,” he said.
Juwi representatives did not immediately return phone and email messages.
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