WALSENBURG– E-ON Climate and Renewables is moving forward on the Cordova wind farm in far eastern Huerfano County with the submission of a completed SB-1041 application to the county.
The wind farm when completed will generate about 200 megawatts of electricity from 125 1.6Mw wind turbines located on the Cordova Ranch across the top of the Cordova Mesa. The project spans across both Huerfano and Las Animas counties.
Right now the Cordova wind project is waiting on a W-9 form to be sent by the county to E-ON. E-ON should receive the completed form from the county in about two days according to Steve Channel in the Land Use office.
“When the company receives the W-9 they will issue a $40,000 check to the county. The funds will be used by the county to hire a consultant to review the application making sure it complies with state and county regulations and to make recommendation,” Channel explained. Then the County Commission will schedule a public hearing where they will take public comments concerning the project.
Since the project crosses into another county, the planning and zoning committee thought it would be best to schedule a workshop for the two counties to resolve administrative details.
Some of the details that need
to be looked by both counties are the transmission of power and decommissioning of the project if it proves to be unworkable or if E-ON finds it can’t make a profit from it.
A county by county comparison of the project looks like this: Huerfano County would have 39 turbines and Las Animas would see 86. The project will connect with two substations one in Las Animas and the other cited in the application is the proposed Calumet substation that is to be built just north of Walsenburg. 21 miles of transmission line will have to be installed between the Cordova site to the Calumet substation.
Of the total 32,799 acres involved in the project, 30,686 will be privately owned and 2,113 acres are in the state land trust. The 5,416 acres of property in Huerfano County where the project is sited is dwarfed by the 27,383 acres found in the Las Animas County side of the project.
Of the six possible wind projects in various stages of development across Huerfano County, the Cordova wind project is closer to physical development than the others, due to E-ON having already gathered the two years of wind data required by the county.
Other wind projects on the board are the RES Americas/Silver Mountain wind farm and the Pole Canyon project both west of I-25. East of I-25 is the project on the Mapes and Potts land in the area of the airport. Shell Wind has also been working with the county on their project in eastern Huerfano County.
Not only is the county looking at wind farm development, sources close to the city have indicated that several renewable energy companies have been courting the city in an effort to begin development of wind projects on city property.
With the state now requiring 30 percent of the energy mix for electricity generation to be from renewables such as wind or solar by 2030 the pressure is on Tri-State and Xcel Energy to find and purchase from companies such as E-ON the electrical power they will need to meet that requirement in 20 years.