Amarillo Globe News – Cielo set to break ground on wind farm

April 21st, 2006  |  Published in Articles

A project to string turbines for eight miles along the edge of the Canadian River Breaks begins Saturday.

“Earth Day is a great day to start a wind farm,” said Becky Diffen, development manager at Cielo Wind Power of Austin.

Saturday’s groundbreaking will be on Everett Road a few miles north of Interstate 40 near the center of the project. Eventually, an electrical substation and an operations and maintenance building will be located near there, Diffen said.

Cielo did the planning and preparation for the Wildorado Wind Farm that will cover about 16,000 acres in Oldham County.

“Earth Day is a great day to start a wind farm.”

Becky Diffen, development manager at Cielo Wind Power

Edison Mission Group, of Irvine, Calif., will own 99 percent of the project and manage it, EMG spokesman Charley Parnell said. He declined to discuss the cost of the project.

The wind farm will sell its electricity to Xcel Energy.

The first phase will include 70 wind-turbine generators supplied by Siemens Power Generation.

The tops of the blades will be 450 feet above the ground. There are plans to add more later.

The generators are expected to produce enough electricity to meet the energy needs of more than 50,000 homes.

The project will be the largest single wind-power facility yet to be built in the Southwest Power Pool that serves parts of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, according to Cielo.

The plan is to have the project functioning sometime between February and April 2007.

“During the initial part, we’ll be putting in roads, then the foundations and electrical infrastructure,” Diffen said. “By November, the turbines will start showing up.”

A transmission line will run about 20 miles to near Bushland where it will connect with Xcel Energy’s lines.

Copyright 2006 Amarillo Globe-News
Record Number: 11123B22A39A8850