Golden West Power Partners has received approval of an overlay zoning from the El Paso County Planning Commission for its proposed 250MW wind power plant in El Paso County, Colorado.
Earlier the company approached the commission seeking approval of the overlay zoning for the Golden West wind energy project pursuant to section 4.3.5, wind and/or solar energy generation plan overlay district of the El Paso County Land Development Code.
The company has proposed to overlay zone the area for the project that will include turbine siting envelopes, a substation siting envelope, an operations and maintenance facility siting envelopment, siting envelopes for meteorological monitoring devices, and an around 25 mile long transmission line siting corridor.
The 37,000-acre project will feature 147 General Electric's (GE) 1.7 100 turbines, project roads, electrical collector system, and an operation and maintenance building.
Early this month, GE was awarded the contract to supply wind turbines for the $400m project, which will generate enough electricity to power around 77,500 homes when completed.
GE will also be responsible for providing start up and commissioning services as well as 24/7 remote monitoring and diagnostics through its remote operations center in Schenectady, New York.
In addition to this, GE is finalising an agreement to provide operations and maintenance through a five-year operations support agreement for the project, which is likely to begin construction in mid-2014 and be commissioned in June 2015.
The project, which is to be connected to the Jackson Fuller substation in southeast Colorado Springs, will deliver its output to Public Service of Colorado, an Xcel Company, under a 25-year power purchase agreement.
The project is expected to create more than 200 jobs during peak construction and around ten full time jobs required to support project operations and maintenance activities.
Once operational, the project will help meet Colorado's renewable portfolio standard, which has set 30% of the state's power to come from renewable sources by 2020.
However, the project proposal, which has now moved to the El Paso County Commission, is yet to receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
In 2007 Clipper Windpower Development Company originally proposed the project, which was acquired by Golden West Power Partners.
Image: Golden West wind energy project will feature 147 GE wind turbines. Photo: courtesy of Golden West Power Partners.