Xcel Energy-Colorado has selected the development company Mortenson to build the 500-megawatt Cheyenne Ridge Wind Project on the state’s Eastern Plains.
Mortenson and Xcel Energy said in a statement Thursday that the project, to be built over about 100,000 acres in Cheyenne and Kit Carson counties, is scheduled for completion in December 2020. Turbine manufacturer Vestas will supply a total of 229 turbines for the wind farm.
The $743 million project will include construction of a power substation and transmission lines. Tradewind Energy was Xcel Energy’s original partner, but the two couldn’t come to an agreement on the contract. There were concerns about not being able to take advantage of federal wind tax credits if the work wasn’t completed and the farm transferred to Xcel Energy by the 2020 deadline, according to a filing with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
Under an agreement approved by state regulators in April, the project was transferred to Xcel Energy. The utility, the largest provider of electricity in Colorado, previously teamed with Mortenson on its 600-megawatt Rush Creek wind farm in northeastern Colorado that began operating in December 2018.
One megawatt of solar energy can power from 200 to 250 homes for a year.
Cheyenne Ridge is a key part of the utility’s Colorado Energy Plan, said Gerald Kelly, Xcel Energy’s project manager.
The plan sets goals for renewable energy and reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions. Xcel Energy wants to be carbon-emission-free by 2050.
Colorado lawmakers passed legislation this year setting the goal of reducing statewide climate-changing emissions in 2050 by at least 90 percent of the levels that existed in 2005.
“Building on our recent collaboration on the 600-megawatt Rush Creek Wind Project in Limon, Colorado, we look forward to partnering again with Xcel Energy on this important addition to their renewables program,” said Gene Hodge, vice president and general manage, at Mortenson in Colorado.
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