- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Lamar, Colo. mayor Elwood Gillis took exception to the senator's comments and invited him to come to his town to witness firsthand how their systems work.
“We don't have the Grand Canyon,” said Gillis, responding to the senator's accusation of the turbines being an ugly sight. “But, in a sense, the wind farm down south of Lamar has become our Grand Canyon.”
The wind farm in Lamar is composed of 108 turbines, each 375 feet tall, which provide energy for people in the state's metropolitan areas up to 200 miles west of the city. Travelers often stop and ask questions about the equipment.
In Lamar, the Colorado Green project, built by GE Wind and sold to a partnership between PPM Energy of Portland, Ore. and Shell WindEnergy Inc., started producing last year. A growing number of states, including Colorado, require a certain amount of their total energy to be provided with renewable energy sources. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a national trade group, predicts this could be a record-breaking year for new projects.
As for the question of noise, Gillis said they make a kind of swish sound that doesn't seem to bother the cattle that graze in their shadow.
According to the AWEA, the cost of producing energy from wind as been reduced by nearly 80 percent in the last 20 years and now costs about 5 cents per kW hour. Visit the Association's website to learn more about wind energy at www.awea.org.