Amarillo Globe News – Turbine shortage not taking wind out of project

October 20th, 2005  |  Published in Articles

A wind energy project planned for Oldham and Potter counties has been delayed because of a shortage of wind turbines.

Cielo Wind Power and Xcel Energy announced a sales agreement last fall that would have the utility buy 160 megawatts of power from the wind farm near Wildorado.

Cielo representative Randy Sowell said in July that a shortage of turbines hindered the project until 2006.

Wind turbines are still in short supply, but things are moving forward, said Tom Houle, vice president of development for Cielo.

Xcel Energy spokesman Wes Reeves said the purchase agreement will be amended.

“The start date has been changed. This was scheduled to go in service in 2006, but now we’re looking more at the first half of 2007,” Reeves said.

Cielo and Oldham County entered into a 10-year tax-abatement agreement.

“Of course, where we’re at right now, everything is proceeding as scheduled,” said Oldham County Judge Don Allred. “There are lots of issues when you are dealing with a project of this scope. Right now, they are planning on construction in 2006.”

Some geology work is being done in preparation for foundation construction, he said.

“Their goal is to be complete in 2006, contingent on being able to get equipment here, the weather. There’s some contingency for it to run into 2007,” Allred said.

Dave Kemp, first assistant county attorney for Potter County, said a reinvestment zone had been set up for the company, but no tax-abatement agreement had been signed.

A second wind farm project called the San Juan Mesa Wind Energy Project near Elida, N.M., may change hands this year. Xcel Energy has agreed to buy power from the completed project.

In September, Edison Mission Group Inc. entered into an agreement to buy Padoma Windpower’s 120-megawatt project.

The deal is expected to close near the end of this year, said Gil Alexander, spokesman with Edison International in Los Angeles.

The commitment is for several years and at different places in the United States, he said.

“This particular project matched that objective and criteria we had in mind for that kind of project,” Alexander said.

He declined to give the purchase price.

Shell Wind Energy Inc. purchased the Llano Estacado Wind Ranch™ at White Deer in 2002.

Turbines produce 80 megawatts of power – about enough for 30,000 households – that is purchased by Xcel Energy.

Copyright 2005 Amarillo Globe-News
Record Number: 10D5E9A8EDD202D0