Colorado Highland Wind facility to expand to its full 90 MW

Colorado Highlands Wind LLC told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 13 that it is bumping up the capacity of its Colorado wind farm from 67.2 MW to 90 MW, with the extra power to go to customer Tri-State Generation and Transmission Assn.

The company said this notice involves a non-material change in its status under the commission’s market-based rate (MBR) regulations. The company received MBR authority August 2012.

Colorado Highlands Wind is the owner and manager of a single exempt wholesale generator in Logan County, Colo., and is engaged in producing electricity solely for wholesale sale (together with certain byproducts of electricity production) using wind power as its exclusive energy input. All of the facility’s electrical output remains committed for sale to Tri-State.

In its 2012 filings in the captioned docket, the company indicated that its generating facility exhibited an electric power production capacity of about 67.2 MW. “As a result of an amendment to the long-term power purchase agreement executed as between the Applicant and Tri-State, the Applicant’s sole generating facility’s electric power production capacity will increase to approximately 90.0 MW, as of approximately August 2013,” the company told FERC. “All of the Applicant’s electrical output remains fully and exclusively committed for wholesale sale to Tri-State through 2031.”

Tri-State announced April 15 that it planned to grow its 67-MW Colorado Highlands Wind project – from which Tri-State receives 100% of the power – to a total of 91 MW. Construction, using 14 General Electric turbines, is expected to commence in July and be completed this fall, Tri-State said April 15. Tri-State has a 20-year power purchase agreement to receive all the electricity and environmental attributes from the facility, which is jointly owned by Alliance Power of Littleton, Colo., and GE Energy Financial Services of Stamford, Conn.

The wind farm was constructed in 2012 and became operational in December of that year. It is located on 6,640 acres in northeast Colorado’s Logan County – in the service territory of Tri-State member co-op Highline Electric Association.

“Colorado Highlands Wind has been performing extremely well since being brought on-line late last year,” said Tri-State senior vice president Brad Nebergall in the April 15 statement. “The original engineering and design accommodated up to 91 megawatts – which is the maximum that the existing transmission interconnection can support. So now that the additional 14 turbines are available, we are pleased to move forward with its full build-out after Tri-State’s board of directors approved the expansion at its February 2013 meeting.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.