I was out last week flying in the LongEZ and I decided to check the progress of the large wind farms that are under construction in Northern Colorado. One of these wind farms called Cedar Creek is right at the Wyoming-Nebraska-Colorado border and the other is farther east in Colorado, just south of Sidney, Nebraska. It is called the Peetz Table Wind farm. Between them, they have 500 wind turbines with a peak generating capacity of 700MW.
One of the things that impresses me most about wind farms is how fast they get built. These two facilities were just in the discussion stages 2 years ago. Early this spring they were just setting up the towers and now all towers are nearly complete and generating power. When I was growing up in Pennsylvania, nuclear power projects like the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station took a very long time to build, with an average build time of 12 years. By contrast these wind projects are going up in a year or less, and the amount of land available on which to build them is substantial so I would expect to see many more going up over the next few decades. Out west we also don’t have nearly the number of people objecting to them with NIBMY excuses. I suppose when your closest neighbors include 220 Minuteman silos, you have a different perspective on what constitutes a “good neighbor.” Some people can be very picky about what they allow in their backyards, as evidenced by Cape Wind.
My previous blog posting on Colorado wind power included an aerial shot of Colorado’s Ponnequin wind farm near Cheyenne, and I now have some new photos of the new wind farms I mentioned, each which has more than 200 wind turbines.
There are also some photos of the new Vestas Blades factory which is under construction in Windsor. It will produce about 1200 40-meter wind turbine blades per year when it is completed next spring. They are even talking about expanding it to increase the rate of production by 50% within a year of commencing operation.
Hi Lee —
You are correct. Under normal circumstances, a wind project can be built in relatively short order. If project management is done correctly, once the permits are in place and the materials arrive, it often only takes about three months to get a project up and turning.
Then, of course, there’s Cape Wind…
I had a fun time talking about this with Dennis Miller the other day. He’s a very bright person who seems to have done quite a bit of thinking about wind energy in general, and Cape Wind in particular.
That’s a really great picture! How did you manage to not get glare from the longEZ canopy?
One of the tricks to taking photos through an airplane canopy is to take enough that you can throw away the ones that aren’t very good. These include the ones with canopy glare, bad focus, lighting, etc.
It also helps to circle a few times while taking the photos and that way you will be more likely to get a few that have good lighting and minimum canopy glare.