NECO Wind is making progress toward permitting its 30 MW Haxtun Wind project.
Survey work in preparation for Haxtun Wind's Environmental Assessment has been underway for the entire summer of 2010. We have completed vegetation, wetland, cultural resources, microwave beam path and other pertinent survey work.
Avian survey work started the week of September 6th. A biologist will be in the field making wildlife observations once a week for the *next four weeks, starting the week of September 6th, 2010.* Almost all of the survey work will be conducted on public lands and roads, with very minimum intrusion expected on private grounds.
Questions? Call National Wind, project developer, 612-746-6600.
It looks like Haxtun Wind is moving on the right path to completing its Environmental Assessment:
The Colorado Division of Wildlife stated in a letter date July 30th 2010, "From a wildlife perspective, the most important aspect of a wind energy project is site selection that avoids wildlife impacts. National Wind is to be commended on choosing a site that is almost entirely on agricultural ground, characterized by wildlife habitat that is generally not of good quality."
NECO Wind's 30 megawatt Haxtun Wind project is making strides. The project will consist of 20 turbines placed on 7,000 plus acres located just south of the town of Haxtun. The project will tie into the grid at the existing Haxtun substation with few additional improvements needed. Not only does the project have all of the land needed for its development under lease and a great location for transmission interconnection;it also completed a wind report indicative of a very strong wind resource.
On August 18th, Haxtun footprint landowners met with the project's developers to go over a preliminary layout and design.
Environmental Assessment Public Scoping Meeting
On May 27th, 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy hosted an Environmental Assessment Public Scoping Meeting for NECO Wind's 30 megawatt community wind project in Phillips County. Nearly 60 people were in attendance.
The meeting allowed the public to comment on the project and the finalized environmental assessment will address any concerns brought forth. Because the Department of Energy is investing in the project, the National Environmental Policy Act requires the Environmental Assessment to be conducted.
This first 30 MW phase will include 20 1.5 MW GE wind turbines that will interconnect at the Haxtun substation through the WAPA system.
If community members were unable to attend the Environmental Assessment meeting, comments can still be sent to Melissa Rossiter, NEPA Document Manager, Department of Energy 1617 Cole Boulevard, Golden, CO 80401 or by email to Melissa.email@example.com.
U.S. Department of Energy Grant
NECO Wind announces that Phillips County, Colorado was recently awarded a $2.5 million Community Renewable Energy Grant by the U.S. Department of Energy to help finance its community-based wind energy development. The grant, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will help jumpstart development on the first 30 megawatt (MW) phase of the project located in Phillips County.
Site Control Progress
Site control is effectively complete with over 91,770 acres currently under land lease and wind easement. We are very pleased with the speed and efficiency with which site control was completed.
The project has two meteorological towers erected in the project area. One tower has been erected in the Primary footprint in Sedgwick County and the second in the Haxtun footprint near Haxtun, CO. They have been collecting wind data for over 16 months and 8 months respectively. With more than one year’s worth of data, the project is more attractive to financiers and potential energy off-takers (our project’s potential customers) alike. This is because reliable energy production output forecasts can be produced using actual wind speeds over the course of a year. We are in the process of studying this data in relation to a variety of turbine types to determine which turbines would work best for the project.
Site Control Progress
The project has 125 participating landowners. With 81,000 acres signed, NECO has made swift progress and is nearly complete with signing acres for the project.
Site Control Progress
NECO Wind has been working hard securing site control, with over 60,000 acres committed to the project in our two footprints southeast of Julesburg and south of Haxtun.
First Landowner Meeting Held
On October 9, over sixty people attended a landowner meeting in at the Sedgwick County Fairgrounds in Julesburg. Pat Pelstring delivered a presentation on NECO Wind and the benefits of our company's community-based model. Landowners also had the chance to meet field specialists JJ Jones, Kirsten Muncy, and Jerry Keintz and many landowners have since had further meetings with the field specialists.
Julesburg Office Opened
NECO Wind opened its first office at 123 Cedar St in Julesburg. We invite you to stop by and visit us! Check out pictures of our office on the Photos page.
Meteorological Tower Installed
National Wind Assessments, the wind-resource analysis division of National Wind, installed a 60-meter on-site meteorological tower within the NECO Wind footprint in early September. Check out some pictures from the installation on the Photos page.
Completion of Initial Feasibility Studies
Environmental: A preliminary environmental analysis including a Cultural Resource Inventory and initial permitting requirements was conducted. The analysis, which covered an area significantly larger than the area planned for development, found no issues that would prevent the project’s completion. Further environmental and cultural resource investigations will be conducted as NECO Wind's development continues.
Wind: Wind data from a 50-meter meteorological tower near the project footprint was used to conduct a preliminary wind assessment. The data from this met tower were analyzed by National Wind Assessments and found to be adequate to move forward with project development. National Wind Assessments will conduct further studies by placing new met towers in the project footprint in order to assess the wind resource more accurately.
Transmission: Excel Engineering evaluated the project’s transmission options and prepared an interconnection strategy. Based on Excel's recommendations, National Wind has submitted a handful of interconnection requests and expect transmission to play an important role in the project's success. As such, National Wind will continue to explore other transmission opportunities and re-evaluate the submitted interconnection requests as needed.
In September 2008, NECO Wind LLC was formed and capitalized by landowners in Sedgwick, Phillips, and Logan Counties in Colorado. National Wind is the project’s manager and developer.