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Busch Wind farm is stalled at 1st phase

 WALSENBURG– Jayne Renkosik and Don Stahl of Black Hills Energy met the the Huerfano County Commissioners last Wednesday to update them on what has happened in the first year of the Busch wind farm in the eastern part of the county, off of Highway 50. The turbines have produced 90,000 megawatts of energy since last October, and were available 99 percent of the time, and have been running at 36 percent capacity. The commissioners liked everything they heard, right up until Chairman Art Bobian asked when phase two of the project would begin. There is no serious commitment to build more, was the reply. The three-phase plan should ultimately build 50 wind turbines, but the public utilities commission has not authorized the increased wattage. This was the first the commissioners had heard that the project was stalled on phase one, and were flummoxed. They asked what they could do to get the project back on track, but the representatives did not know; all they could do is report back to their superiors. They did hope to ask the PUC next year for permission to add another 30 megawatts. “You would seem well positioned to take that step,” said Commissioner Max Vezzani.