Gov. Bill Ritter joined FPL Energy, Xcel Energy, local officials and about 200 other guests here today to break ground on what will be the nation's second-largest wind generation facility.
Ritter was joined by Mike O'Sullivan, senior vice president of development at FPL Energy, and Karen Hyde, managing director of Resource Planning and Acquisitions at Xcel Energy.
"Today we are making history," Gov. Ritter said. "This project will be the largest wind farm in the state and second-largest in the nation. It will have the longest transmission line in the world. Along with our tremendous agricultural crops, Colorado is the 11th windiest and 6th sunniest state in the nation. Our intellectual resources are second-to-none.
"Combined, all of this says that Colorado is well on its way to becoming the renewable energy capital of the country and a leader in the New Energy Economy," Gov. Ritter added.
O'Sullivan said, "Colorado is taking an important leadership role in the growth of wind energy in the United States . The Peetz Table Wind Energy Center will help the state realize its enormous potential for economic growth through the generation of clean, renewable energy."
" Xcel Energy continues to add more wind power to our existing system. By purchasing the energy from FPL at this project and from three others, we will reach Colorado 's renewable energy standard seven years early," said Hyde. "Wind power is a valuable part of our generation mix in Colorado . With the new renewable energy legislation requiring 20 percent of our power come from renewable energy, we feel that it will continue to grow in importance."
Peetz Table Wind Energy Center Facts:
Construction of 267 General Electric turbines should be complete by the end of 2007.
They will generate 400 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 120,000 homes a year.
Xcel Energy will purchase the energy under a long-term contract.
FPL Energy is constructing a 78-mile-long transmission line to connect the Peetz Table facility to the power grid at Xcel Energy's Pawnee substation near Brush. This will be longest power transmission line in the world.
At the height of construction, the project will employ between 300-350 workers.
When complete, the Peetz Table Wind Energy Center will have about 20 full-time employees and have a significant positive impact on the local economy.