by Carol Stevens
GARDNER- County Commissioner Roger Cain called a special meeting Sept. 18 regarding the Pole Canyon Wind Farm (PCWF) for residents of Gardner. Residents were concerned about the number of turbines and how they will look from Highway 69. The road leading into the wind farm would be County Road 611. The area involved would be the Eagle Flats Ranch from Highway 69 to Interstate 25 to County Road 102.
David Hettich, representing PCWF, showed pictures modeling how the turbines would look from Highway 69 and from various points on I-25. A total of 125 wind turbines will be constructed with approximately 17.78 miles of transmission line. The transmission line will connect at the Comanche Substation in Pueblo. Although Huerfano County will receive $4,000 per turbine each year, the energy created will be sold to Excel Energy for use in other parts of the state.
Pole Canyon Wind Farm has researched the project thoroughly and set up test sites. Scenic corridors and tourist roads will not be affected. If property owners do not want a turbine on their property, the turbines will be built approximately 750 feet from the boundary. The area will be restored to its original condition if the project is scrapped.
The permits from Huerfano and Pueblo counties have been approved, and PCWF has applied for federal subsidies. If the subsidies are not granted, the project will not continue. Construction on the wind farm will begin in early 2010, at a cost of approximately $670 million.