Colorado Fires Up 300-Megawatt Wind Farm

October 3, 2007

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter "flipped the switch" on the state's newest and largest wind farm, the 274-turbine, 300-megawatt Cedar Creek Wind Energy Project, located approximately 120 miles northeast of Denver.

The facility is sited near the town of Grover in northern Weld County and will be capable of providing power to 90,000 homes when fully operational at the end of the year. The first phase of the project is on track to be completed by the end of October. The energy generated will be sold under a long-term contract to Public Service Company of Colorado, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc.

"Projects like this bring three significant wins to the state of Colorado," Gov. Ritter said during a windy dedication ceremony. "It's good for our economy. It's good for our environment, and it's good for our energy independence."

Colorado's renewable portfolio standard, which was signed into law earlier this year, requires large utilities like Xcel Energy to produce 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020.

"We're going to hit that target by the end of this year," Ritter said, "which is almost eight years early." By the end of this year, Xcel Energy is expected to have 1,100 megawatts of wind-generated electricity online.

The Cedar Creek wind farm is employing about 415 workers during its construction and is expected to employ a full-time staff of more than 20 who will monitor and maintain the site during operation. Project managers will also contract with various service providers in the region for specific tasks.

The project is a joint venture by BP Alternative Energy North America and the international investment firm, Babcock & Brown Operating Partners LP. With a capital investment of more than $480 million, the project will be 67 percent owned by Babcock & Brown and 33 percent owned by BP Alternative Energy.

For more information, see the governor's October 2 press release and the BP Alternative Energy October 2 press release.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Colorado, see: