Colorado Highlands Wind growing from 67 MWs to 91 MWs

A technician’s red car at the base of this tower provides scale in viewing one of the new wind turbines at the Colorado Highlands Wind project.

A technician’s red car at the base of this tower provides scale in viewing one of the new wind turbines at the Colorado Highlands Wind project.

Colorado Highlands Wind, Tri-State’s largest resource for wind power, is adding a total of 14, 1.7-megawatt GE wind turbine generators this summer that will boost the output of the eastern Colorado facility from a maximum of 67 megawatts to approximately 91 megawatts of power production.

According to Steve Mayfield, who provides quality assurance for the site’s owner and operator, Colorado Highlands Wind, L.L.C., “Phase two construction of Colorado Highlands Wind is on track for commissioning and commercial startup by September 2013.”

Tri-State has a 20-year power purchase agreement to take all of the generation from the site, which began initial operation and production from 42, 1.6-megawatt wind turbines at the end of 2012.

A new turbine blade rotor assembly is ready to be hoisted to the nacelle at the top of an 80-meter wind tower.

A new turbine blade rotor assembly is ready to be hoisted to the nacelle at the top of an 80-meter wind tower.

Colorado Highlands Wind, which is located approximately 25 miles northeast of Sterling, Colo., is the second major wind resource for Tri-State. The association also has a power purchase agreement with Duke Energy to receive the energy output from its 51-megawatt Kit Carson Windpower site, located approximately seven miles north of Burlington, Colo.

As of July 17, a total of 10 of 14 new wind turbine generators planned for the phase 2 expansion were in some stage of assembly at the wind site. About 50 workers are on site from RMT, Inc., the project’s primary contractor for engineering, procurement and construction of the expanded wind project.

Colorado Highlands Wind is within the service territory of Tri-State member system Highline Electric Association and receives station service from the Holyoke-based co-op.

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