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Plan To Build 75 Wind Turbines Along Colorado-Wyoming Border Takes Shape

Turbines spin in a wind farm.

A regional energy project entering final planning stages this fall is set to become one of northern Colorado’s largest sources of wind power. 

When finished the Roundhouse Renewable Energy Project will deliver roughly 150 megawatts of energy to thousands of homes and businesses in Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont and Estes Park. The bump will nearly triple the amount of wind power the Platte River Power Authority currently sources.

At a public forum held Aug. 15 Platte River spokesman Steve Roalstad said the project’s 75 turbines would deliver enough energy to satisfy the annual needs of roughly 70,500 households.

“It’s enough to power the equivalent of every household in Fort Collins,” he said. “It’s going to make a huge change in the way we deliver energy to our customers.”

The turbines will be built on a 30,000-acre swath of private and state land just north of the Wyoming-Colorado border, he said.

The finished project will deliver energy through parts of Weld and Larimer counties via a roughly 12-mile-long power line. From there it will be transferred to the Platte River Power Authority and rerouted to communities across northern Colorado.

The final route of said power line has yet to be determined. Roalstad said it would be finalized this fall or early 2019.

Kim Miller, a Fort Collins resident who attended the public forum, said she supported the project but was concerned about the line’s impact on wildlife and the area’s natural beauty. 

“It’s not going to be invisible,” she said. “The only way to get those powerlines to (Fort Collins) is across some of the really pretty parts of northern Colorado.”

Roalstad wouldn’t confirm the dollar amount of the agreement between Platte River and Enyo Renewable Energy, the company overseeing development of the turbines.

The wind farm is on track to be operational by the end of 2020, according to the project’s website.

Project Development Timeline:

September – October 2018: Public presentations to the Fort Collins water board, land conservation and stewardship board, natural resources board, energy board and city council 

November – December 2018: Water board recommendation to Fort Collins city council, Larimer and Weld county land use permit reviews

Winter 2019: Larimer and Weld counties planning commission hearings and board of county commissioners public hearings; city council review and decision

Spring 2019: Wyoming industrial siting council decision

Summer or Fall 2019: Project design and additional environmental investigations, including pre-construction surveys

2020: Project construction and completion

I cover a wide range of issues within Colorado’s dynamic economy including energy, labor, housing, beer, marijuana, elections and other general assignment stories.
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