American power company plans 51-megawatt wind farm in Colorado

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Fresh off the heels of China’s wind announcement, an American power company has just announced that it will be building a 51-megawatt wind farm in eastern Colorado — east of the famed Rockies.

The plant will be built by Duke Energy of North Carolina. The company said in a press release today:

Duke Energy will develop the 51-megawatt (MW) Kit Carson Windpower Project on approximately 6,000 acres of land under long-term lease near Burlington, Colo. The project will be the company’s first in the state and fourth in the region.

The Kit Carson project is named after the famed American frontiersman and the county where the project will be located. As a result of a 20-year power purchase agreement, the project will supply clean, renewable energy to customers of the 44 electric cooperatives that comprise the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. The project is expected to enter commercial operation by the end of 2010.

The energy supplied will then be sold by the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

According to The Associated Press, it supplies power to 44 electric cooperatives in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming, and “currently gets 72 percent of its power from coal and roughly 1 percent from wind and solar.”

The US is experiencing a relative boom in wind power, too.

The American Wind Energy Association notes:

The U.S. wind energy industry shattered all previous records in 2008 by installing over 8,500 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity (enough to serve over two million homes), increasing the nation’s total wind power generating capacity by 50% to over 25,300 MW and channeling an investment of some $17 billion into the economy.

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