PPM Energy Announces Twin Buttes Wind Farm in Colorado
PPM Energy, ScottishPower's competitive US energy business, today announced it will begin construction this fall on the 75-megawatt (MW) Twin Buttes Wind Power Project near Lamar in southeastern Colorado.
"PPM Energy is delighted to bring online a second wind power project in Colorado for customers of Xcel Energy," said PPM Energy CEO Terry Hudgens. "With Twin Buttes and other new projects announced, as well as turbines secured and a strong development pipeline for the future, PPM has increased our goal by over 50 percent to develop or control at least 3,500 MW of new wind power by 2010."
Power generated by the Twin Buttes project will be delivered under a long-term contract to Colorado customers of Xcel Energy. Xcel also receives the entire output of the adjacent 162 MW Colorado Green Wind Project, a joint venture between PPM Energy and Shell WindEnergy, Inc.
"The Twin Buttes project will be an integral part of our efforts to meet Colorado's Least-Cost (Resource) Plan (LCP) and our voter-approved Renewable Energy Standard (RES). PPM Energy's project also increases the utilization of a highly desirable wind power region of our state, and we will be able to take advantage of existing transmission resources to deliver this clean wind energy to our customers," said Karen Hyde, Xcel Energy director for purchased power.
In November 2004, Colorado voters approved a standard that will require Xcel Energy and other utilities to secure 10 percent of their energy sales from renewable energy by 2015. Xcel Energy, already the nation's leading utility for wind power purchases, will have approximately 2,500 MW of wind power in 10 states by the end of 2007. Approximately one third of Xcel's wind generation is located within Colorado.
Twin Buttes will use 50 GE 1.5 MW turbines. Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of 2007.
While the project spans approximately 9,000 acres owned by seven landowners, the actual footprint of the turbines uses less than two percent of the total acreage. The remainder continues to be used for ranching and grazing. The project is expected to create an average of between 40 to 50 jobs during construction. In addition to the creation of five to six full-time jobs in the community, the project initially is expected to provide several hundred thousand dollars a year in property tax revenues.
"We welcome wind power to Bent County. We're excited about being part of the move to bring renewable energy to the region," said Lynden Gill, Bent County Commissioner. "Twin Buttes will provide great benefits to our tax base and the economic future of Bent County. With our severe drought these past few years, wind power is giving us a boost."
"I am very pleased that PPM Energy is building another wind power project on the eastern plains of Colorado," said U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo. "There is great potential for wind energy in eastern Colorado and a need to expand transmission capacity so that we can tap into that potential. As our nation moves to reduce its dependence on foreign sources of energy, Colorado is leading the way with clean energy produced from renewable resources. I will continue to fight so that Washington adopts policies, such as the renewable production tax credit, that encourage and enable wind energy projects, such as Twin Buttes, to be built in Colorado."
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