Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Animal Care
     None  Auto
     None  Automotive Dealership
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Child Care
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Computer Services
     None  Construction
     None  Dental Care
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Electric utility
     None  Electrician
     None  Electronic Equipment Repair
     None  Equine Services
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Fitness/Physical Therapy
     None  Flooring
     None  Florist
     None  Food Products
     None  Garage Doors
     None  Garbage/Hauling Services
     None  Glass
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Health Care
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Landscaping
     None  Martial Arts
     None  Mortgage
     None  Music Lessons
     None  Painting - Interior/Exterior
     None  Pawn Shop
     None  Pest Control
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Pet Store
     None  Photography
     None  Plumbing
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  School
     None  Screen repair
     None  Security - Home/Business
     None  Senior Citizens Services
     None  Specialty
     None  Storage
     None  Tavern
     None  Telephone/Cell Phone Products & Services
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Web Design


 
"In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves."
– Buddha  
About | Contact | Advertise | Get a Copy | Subscribe   | Privacy Policy 

  Volume No. 7 Issue No. 10 October 2010  

None
None Adopt Me   None Black and White ... Or Gray   None Business Briefs   None Community Calendar  
None D 49 Sports   None Face to Face in Falcon   None Falcon Area Churches   None From the NFH team  
None Health and Wellness   None Historical Perspectives   None Letters to the Editor   None Monkey Business  
None News Briefs   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Tales   None Rumors  
None Streetwise   None Travel  
None
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
None
 
Front Page
Printer Friendly Version
  Wind rush
  By Kathleen Wallace

   El Paso County may not have gold, oil or natural gas; but it does have wind, and the county's wind is poised to change from an irritant to an economic asset.
   In September, Clipper Windpower Development Co. held an open house in Calhan to provide information about the company's plans to build a power transmission line from its proposed Golden West Wind Project south of Calhan to a substation in Falcon.
   According to a detailed map, the transmission line's proposed route is west from the wind farm on the hills south of Calhan, north along Soapweed Road and west along Highway 24 to Falcon.
   A portion of the proposed transmission line runs along the Rock Island Regional Trail, from Peyton to Falcon. An easement from the county is required for the route to be viable.
   At the open house, Clipper displayed materials that indicated El Paso County would be compensated for granting the easement and upon construction of the transmission line. Neither amount was disclosed.
   For Clipper to get the easement, the El Paso County Parks Board must recommend it for approval, and the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners must approve it at a public hearing.
   "We're proposing this route for first consideration because it's the least invasive and avoids dense residential areas as much as possible," said Kathy Fay, project asset coordinator for Clipper.
   A new transmission line is necessary because neither Mountain View Electric Association nor the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has the capacity to carry the 200 megawatts of electricity the wind farm will generate, said Darryl Edwards, manager of MVEA's member services department.
   Obtaining the easement is just a first step.
   Before Clipper can build the transmission line, the BOCC will have to approve a construction permit. Building the wind farm will require another set of permits.
   If approved, the project will create construction jobs for the transmission line, and the wind farm itself will create about 105 jobs, said Clipper representative Casey Willis.
   Some of the jobs will be general construction jobs that can be filled by local workers; others will require special training.
   The project's plan calls for 80 to 100 towers spread over 14,000 acres and will require 10 to 12 full-time workers to maintain, he said.
   According to its Web site, this is Clipper's first project in Colorado. The company has other projects in Iowa, Texas, Maryland and Wyoming, as well as projects in Latin America.
   Clipper manufactures its turbines in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The blades may be manufactured in the United States or imported, but they won't be manufactured by Vestas Wind Systems in Pueblo, Colo., because Clipper turbines aren't compatible with Vestas blades, Willis said.
   Clipper materials show the transmission line and wind farm will generate $1 million in property tax payments, benefiting the Calhan School District, the county's road and bridge fund, the Calhan fire district and the Pikes Peak Library District.
   Most of the people attending the open house were positive about the project.
   "This will be huge for this area. It's a gigantic first leap," said Falcon businessman Jason Gray.
   Raymond McCarthy, who lives near Calhan and north of the proposed transmission line, said the project is an opportunity for jobs in the area. "Following the highway is a good idea," he said.
   Tom Cline of Falcon said the project will support other industries in the area, and will be a big benefit to Calhan.
   Not everyone was happy.
   Property owners next to the proposed easement asked why the transmission line couldn't be put underground.
   Fay said Clipper prefers the overhead line because transmitting electricity underground for long distances is difficult and expensive.
   The exact path the proposed transmission line will take in developed areas of Falcon, such as the intersection of Old Meridian Road and Highway 24, hasn't been completely worked out, and some could be put underground, she said.
   Jim and Dee Ozburn, owners of Falcon Food Store and Campground, also own a parcel in the area where the proposed transmission line heads north to connect to the Fuller substation between Highway 24 and Woodmen Road.
   Whether the lines are overhead or underground, giving Clipper an easement will make the land unusable for development, Ozburn said, adding that Clipper's current offer of compensation is too low.
   Krista Jo Gordon, development manager for the project, said construction is planned to start in 2012. But before construction can start, Clipper must find a buyer for the electricity, Gordon said.
   Although plans call for the proposed transmission line to connect to the substation across Woodmen Road from MVEA's Falcon office, the wind farm will not have a direct benefit to MVEA or its customers, Edwards said.
   That substation is jointly operated by Tri-State, Colorado Springs Utilities and Xcel Energy, Willis said.
   According to its Web site, Clipper Windpower is a public company trading on the London stock exchange. In December, United Technologies Corp. invested $206 million in the company in return for shares of Clipper stock.


 
  

This picture of a Clipper drawing shows how the company would place the transmission line in relationship to the Rock Island trail, existing MVEA power line and Highway 24. There will be six poles per mile compared with MVEA's 22 poles per mile, Kathy Fay said.
 

Redrawn from Clipper's map for legibility, using a map provided by El Paso County. The blue line indicates the proposed power transmission route. The green line encloses the area in which wind turbines might be placed. Krista Jo Gordon said the company has already made arrangements with enough land owners to build the wind farm.
 

Clipper builds its wind turbines in Iowa and has at least four wind farms there. From www.venturebeat.com
 

© 2004-2014 The New Falcon Herald.
All rights reserved.