Haxtun Wind Project
Phillips County, Colorado
Project: 30 megawatt community-owned wind farm
Funding received: more than $2.5 million
The Haxtun Wind project in Phillips County, Colorado, is a community-owned 30 megawatt wind farm. The U.S. Department of Energy provided more than $2.5 million in funding for this Community Renewable Energy Deployment (CommRE) project.
Phillips County is located in northeastern Colorado. The Haxtun Wind CommRE project will consist of up to 20 turbines located on more than 9,200 acres just south of the town of Haxtun, Colorado, and will tie into the grid at the existing Haxtun substation with few additional improvements needed.
To ensure success, the Haxtun Wind project needs to be located on a site with a good wind resource, accessible transmission, a supportive community, and an area where construction will have a minimal impact on wildlife. Based on wind data that was collected for 1 year and analyzed, the area chosen for this project has strong wind resources. All of the land necessary for the wind farm, encompassing both Phillips and Logan Counties, is predominantly agricultural cropland currently under land lease and wind easement.
The Community Renewable Energy Deployment project is being led by NECO Wind, LLC, which is managed and professionally developed by National Wind, LLC. As the managing partner, National Wind will oversee the project from the initial planning stages until the final construction phase.
Environmental and Economic Benefits
The Haxtun Wind CommRE project is estimated to generate enough renewable electricity to supply power to approximately 9,000 homes. It will contribute to the economic vitality of the area by bringing income streams in the form of local tax revenue, landowner lease income, community ownership profits, and job creation.
During construction, local businesses such as hotels, rental housing, restaurants, gas stations, qualified contractors, hardware stores, and suppliers of gravel, concrete, and other building materials will also benefit from construction activities. The increased tax base will positively affect local schools and other government services. Landowners and the local community will also share in the project's proceeds.
In January 2012—after consulting with many stakeholders including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and completing extensive wildlife surveys, modeling, and field work—the environmental assessment was completed for the Haxtun Wind Project, which determined the project will not significantly negatively impact the local area. This finding means the project can proceed to find a buyer for the energy produced from the project once completed and begin construction.
The Haxtun Wind CommRE project includes a local advisory board of representative community members, landowners, and project founders. National Wind meets with the advisory board monthly to share project financials, give updates to the community, and ask for input on major project decisions. The advisory board has been instrumental in the success and acceptance of the project in the area.
According to Bruce Rosenbach, chair of the local advisory board and founding member of NECO Wind, "One big advantage of community wind is that you don't need a wind turbine sited directly on your property to participate. Community members have several ways they can get involved in NECO Wind, including as owner-investors."
Learn more about the Haxtun Wind project on the NECO Wind website.