Platte River’s windy addition

Roundhouse wind farm and solar farm to boost utility’s non-carbon portfolio to 50%

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Half the energy delivered to four communities in northern Colorado will come from non-carbon-sources by the end of 2020, the result of new wind and solar generation.

The first of those projects, the 225-megawatt Roundhouse Wind Energy Center, has begun commercial operations and gets the utility to 48%.

Directors of Platte River Power Authority, the electrical utility serving Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont and Estes Park, directed staff in 2017 to add new wind. This project just north of the Colorado-Wyoming border nearly triples the amount of wind power delivered by the utility.

“We’re pleased to take yet another step toward achieving our non-carbon energy goals. We appreciate our partnership with NextEra Energy and the opportunity to deliver more non-carbon energy to our owner communities,” said Jason Frisbie, general manager and CEO of Platte River.

The project is located 10 miles north of Platte River’s Rawhide Energy Station and covers approximately 20,000 acres. The site features 82 General Electric wind turbines. They can produce up to 225 megawatts of output and is estimated to produce enough energy to power approximately 100,000 homes per year. The project is owned by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which acquired early stage development rights for a portion of the project from a joint venture of Enyo Renewable Energy and MAP Renewable Energy.

“We are pleased to work with our partners at Platte River Power Authority to bring this facility online and deliver unprecedented value to its customers,” said Matt Handel, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and the sun. “This project also brings significant economic benefit to the region, creating jobs and providing additional tax revenue to the communities that host it.”

Platte River in autumn 2020 also expects to add the 22-megawatt Rawhide Prairie Solar project with 2 megawatt-hours of battery storage. With the addition of these projects to Platte River’s energy mix, approximately 50% of the energy delivered to the owner communities will come from non-carbon resources.

Photo/Pete Arnold, Cheyenne, Wyo.

See also:

Rawhide coal plant to close by 2030

Getting to 100% renewable energy

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Allen Best