Three-County Community Coalition
Open Energy Forum

CONTACT TCCC: info@three-county.org

This site is for you, the residents of El Paso, Lincoln, Elbert counties who have concerns about Power companies putting in power lines, electric towers, wind generators, underground pipes...maybe in your back yard. 

We are here to help and we want to hear from you.   

- El Paso, Lincoln, Elbert Counties -
This is the TCCC -- Our Community Working Together 

 Three-County Community Coalition    

  Dedicated to preserving the rights of property owners in 
Elbert, El Paso and Lincoln Counties.

 


     


December 2014

HERE THEY COME, THE PARADE OF GIANTS - Are you ready for this????

WILL MONSTER, EYE SORE, WIND TURBINES 
 TAKE OVER OUR PRAIRIES?

Golden West Energy Project - A Wind Farm with
23,000 acres of land just southeast of Calhan -
29 miles of electric transmission lines from
turbines to Colorado Springs -
126-145 Turbine Towers each 280' to 380' tall -
42 Miles of project roads for construction
and service of turbines

Will Eastern Colorado end up looking like this???

 
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Update: New owners of the proposed wind farm have reneged on

prior  agreements to put the massive power cables underground

and will now run the many miles of 230 KV line overhead

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Map of Proposed Overhead Cable Lines With 
Initial Part of the Elevated Line.

Map 1.pdf

Proposed Power Line Route Through Falcon.

Map 2.pdf

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    Golden West Power Partners’ Industrial Wind Turbine Project – now is the NextEra Wind Farm.pdf

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Larry Mott, engineer and Three County Community Coalition advisor:

I have a copy of the new GW zoning application and maps for turbine,
power line, O&M Office and two (2) batch plant locations, one north and one south.

Apparently the power product tax credit 'safe harbor' that GW
obtained by getting the BOCC approval in late December of 2013 applies
to the delayed Next Era project.  They did that by making GW
a 'subsidiary' of Next Era.  The number of turbines are now shown
as 126-145 rather than 150 but the name plate rating is
still 250 mw, which we all know to be total fiction.

Some turbine locations have been moved and the power line has also been re-routed.
Turbine noise, sun flicker, degradation of views and property values,
bird kill potential, etc., are all 'addressed' and found to be 100% acceptable
and in accordance with all laws and regulations.

It is, unfortunately, very likely that the BOCC approval of this revised zoning
overlay is already approved in the back rooms of the BOCC and any hearing
will be pro forma.  However, it does represent an opportunity for local residents
and those affected by the turbine project to express our opinions in public.

I also encourage everyone to write multiple letters in opposition when the next
registered letter arrives announcing the date of the 'hearing.'  You may recall
that the last time they did that, there were no letters received in opposition
and they bragged about that constantly.

Letters written in opposition should be designed for multiple destinations:
one to the company, another to the county and also send copies to
Ranch Land News, The Gazzette, Falcon Herald.

This company needs this updated re-zoning due to all the changes they're
trying to implement including the addition of two batch plants instead of one.

L. J. Mott, PE
Consulting Power Systems Engineer
Calhan, CO

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From a KKTV report:

Southern Colorado will soon be home to 150 new wind turbines, but
not everyone is happy about the proposal.

Residents from Calhan showed up Thursday at the El Paso County
commissioners meeting to express concerns about details of the plan.

Some said the wind farm will be too close to their homes. Others
said they are concerned about how large the turbines will be and how it may
affect birds such as eagles and geese that fly through the area.

Supporters of the project said it will create hundreds of
jobs and pump millions of dollars into the local economy.

They'll break ground in March, and the turbines will be up
and running by summer 2015. None of the turbines can be built
any closer than a quarter-mile from homes that haven't signed agreements.

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Excerpt from the New Falcon Herald:

"A few years ago, Clipper Windpower had plans to build a wind power farm
near Calhan, Colo. In February 2013, Fowler Wind Energy purchased
the project, referred to as Golden West Power Partners, from Clipper.
The project is under way."

Golden West Power Partners LLC - Wind Farm Near Calhan

"Wind turbines will be in their backyard for essentially the next 30 years,”
said David Hazel, project manager for Multiband Renewals, the company
hired to develop the wind project
.  ,Hazel is in regular contact with the Calhan
community, and said there is not much opposition from the residents. “The
economic boost itself is good. People like to be taken care of,” he said.

Read entire arcticle
Wind Farm coming to Calhan

  By Lara Freeman

here:

http://www.newfalconherald.com/DisplayPrintArticle.php?ArticleID=8867
 

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click on each link for in depth reports regarding unknown aspects of using wind power

Read detailed study of The Hidden Costs of Wind Power

Wind Turbine Syndrome A Report on a Natural Experiment

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"Local Engineer Refutes Wind Power Claims"

Larry Mott of Calhan, a well respected power systems engineer, recently took a look at the claims made by our emerging Wind Power Company, that's the driving force behind the Calhan wind farm.   We're all used to exaggerated claims.  When somebody wants to sell something they put out all the good info and never mention the possible side effects.  Why would they you don't sell product by emphasizing the negative.  Now every once in a while we don find out about the lie, told my the seller who might have even convinced himself that it is only a slight exaggeration and after all it is for the good of all.  

This would appear to be the case in the information being advanced by our man Larry has dissected the technical claims put forth in the assembled literature created to support this project and he found them to be somewhat less than straight forward.  Read Larry's detailed insights here:

Wind Farm Harvests Tax Dollars, Minimal Energy by Larry Mott, PE

The proposed 147 wind turbine facility, covering over 25,000 acres in eastern El Paso County has recently been in the news.  In addition to questions about actual effective capacity in comparison to inflated “name plate” ratings, other important issues of low frequency noise, sun flutter, ice throw, bird kills, and transmission lines, have not been addressed. 

But there is another important question that has not even been mentioned.  It is best described by the simple statement:  Follow the money

Based on documents provided by Golden West and GE-Energy, I have determined that GE-Energy now openly promotes the fact that wind energy can be integrated  into the distribution grid  “…at the unsubsidized cost of  $0.05 to $0.07 per kilowatt hour (kWh)”.  GE-Energy then points out that this cost range is “…right in line with the cost of electricity produced by existing thermal coal power plants and less than the projected cost of electricity from new coal power plants.”   (Source: http://cleantechnica.com/2013/06/29/ges-brilliant-1-6-100-clean-green-grid-ready-wind-power-cheaper-than-coal-or-natural-gas/) 

The 2.3 cents/kWh federal tax subsidy for wind energy projects will expire on December 31, 2013, just after the county commissioners vote on this project.  The Calhan wind farm, if approved by the El Paso County Commissioners on December 19, will qualify for this stream of tax money provided by other hard working Americans. According to documents provided by Golden West, the PPT (production tax credit) will generate a significant stream of annual tax money.  That transfer of wealth from the private sector to Golden West Power Partners will be $143,225 per year for each turbine.  This revenue stream can then be used by Golden West to pay a comparatively small annual fee to each land owner, pay local school districts, and other governmental groups, and, of course, increase profits for the promoters.
If wind energy is already competitive with conventional electrical energy sources, then why does the Golden West/Calhan Wind farm need a tax subsidy?f If the tax subsidy aspect of the project was not part of the revenue mix, would the Golden West Project be viable?
Do we want a 25,000 acre wind farm in Eastern El Paso County for the next 30 years that generates a relatively small amount of energy and one that may be viable only if subsidized by federal tax dollars?

Sincerely,
L. J. Mott, PE
Consulting Power Systems Engineer
Calhan, CO
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Wind-farm bird deaths bring $1M in fines

Nov. 2013  Wyoming wind-farm operator Duke Energy Renewables pleaded guilty in the first federal case of its kind, admitting its turbines at two sites have killed 14 golden eagles and 149 other birds since 2009.

Duke Energy has agreed to pay $1 million in fines as part of the Justice Department’s first criminal case against a wind-power company for the deaths of protected birds.



Windpower isn't Perfect

Pretty Rare Events But It Can Happen

                  



 This new transmission line will be a blight, a huge, shiny metal tower and cable eyesore, on our rural landscape and will in the long run have a negative
effect on real property values. 

We urge everyone to take a long hard look at this proposed
route.  If you’re contacted, realize what will be happening
on your property if you decide to sell access to the tower/power company, and also  realize that the money offered is negotiable,
so get the best price you can. 


            


Transmission Line Land Value Impact 

The effect of cross-country transmission lines on the value of the property they cross has long been a matter of discussion and considerable conjecture.  The purpose of this paper is to create a formula by which a definitive impact can be determined.  That impact would be expressed in monetary terms.

Land value is directly affected by proximity to the transmission route. 
This statement is widely recognized as being valid.  It is however the
amount of the impact that has been a subject of much discussion.  
After studying the phenomena of routing transmission lines and their
impact on those living in proximity to the lines we have established the
following guidelines for determining compensation to the affected landowner.

The first step in the valuation process is to establish the value of the property over which the transmission line will pass.   This is easily accomplished with any of the various methods of appraisal that are available.  It may be appropriate for local governments to establish a specific appraisal method.

These formulas are based on the reduction in value proximity to the
line causes.Land within one hundred meters of the line will have its
value reduced by seventy five percent (75%).  Land from one
hundred to five hundred meters will have its value reduced by fifty
percent and land between five hundred and a thousand meters will
have its value reduced by twenty five percent. 

This is a very straightforward and realistic means of determining monetary impact.  The starting point and the fall back point should eminent domain be involved will be the basis established by these formulas.

Property owners could negotiate for a higher payout, but the establishment of a set formula would work somewhat to their disfavor.  Power providers would experience a somewhat higher cost of crossing, but their costs could easily be established at the outset and planned for accordingly.

 The Three County Community Coalition hardily endorses
this method of evaluating property values.
 

(Click Here for Details for Acquisition Guidelines) 



       


Transmission Siting In the Western United State
click here: An Overview and Recommendations to the Western
Interstate Energy Board

click here: Electric Transmission Siting Processes in
Selected Western and Mid-Western States



We at TCCC strongly feel that not only should the neighborhoods
that will house the towers be involved in the routing plans, but also
that landowners should be more realistically compensated when a
transmission tower is built on their property. The option for power lines
is that installing underground cables should be the first consideration.


  

Any donation to The Three-County Community Coalition is tax deductible. 
Checks should be made to "Three-County Community Coalition"and mailed to:
 

TCCC
Post Office Box 15
Rush, CO 80833   

tel. 719-478-5010
info@three-county.org


 
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