Colorado State University has signed a lease agreement with San Diego-based Cannon Power Group – a global developer of utility-scale wind and solar energy projects for more than 30 years – to design and develop a wind farm on the university’s Maxwell Ranch property near the Colorado/Wyoming border.
“We are pleased that Cannon has stepped forward to work with the university community, the neighbors of the Maxwell Ranch and Larimer County officials,” said Bill Farland, vice president for Research at Colorado State. “CSU and CSURF will work with Cannon to make some critical decisions over the next nine months regarding project timing and funding.”
The Colorado State University Research Foundation, or CSURF, a private, non-profit advocacy organization that manages the university’s real estate holdings, intellectual property and technology transfer activities, has leased 8,000 acres of the 11,000-acre Maxwell Ranch property to Cannon Power Group, which will be responsible for seeking necessary permits for the wind development.
“This is part of Colorado State’s commitment to greening our campus as well as providing students with cutting-edge clean energy research opportunities,” Farland said. “We also want to do our part to meet the needs of Gov. Ritter’s Climate Action Plan to reduce the state’s overall energy usage.”
“Cannon Power Group is committed to working with the university and other stakeholders in Larimer County to design a wind project that will benefit the region, help meet the state’s renewable energy goals and support significant research,” said Gary Hardke, president and managing director of Cannon Power Group. “Over the coming months, we will look closely at transmission alternatives, power purchase agreements and financing options. We look forward to engaging in discussions with Larimer County government, which ultimately will need to approve this project. We are excited to participate in this unique opportunity.”
The Cannon Power Group partnership marks the transition from Wind Holding LLC, the company that worked with CSURF to initiate development of a wind project at Maxwell Ranch.
“The economic downturn hurt our previous developer, but we have parted amicably with them and we wish them the best,” Farland said. “We look forward to this new partnership with Cannon Power Group.”
Cannon Power Group is most recently known for its Windy Point/Windy Flats project located in rural Klickitat County, Wash. At 500-plus megawatts – enough clean electricity to power more than 250,000 households per year – it is one of the largest wind projects in the United States and represents a total investment of more than $1 billion. The 400 megawatts installed just over the past 18 months has created more than 350 construction jobs – mostly from the local workforce – as well as generated 40 permanent administration and operations positions when fully staffed. The Washington project is expected to provide more than $145 million over the life of the project in benefits to the local community in the form of rent, state and local taxes and infrastructure improvements.
About Cannon Power Group
Cannon Power Group has been an independent leader and pioneer in the renewable energy industry since 1979. The company has set a course of success in the United States and around the globe in developing, constructing, operating and maintaining utility-scale wind and solar energy projects resulting in abundant, affordable and environmentally conscious power. Currently, Cannon has more than 3,000 MW of wind projects and over 1,500 MW of utility-scale solar projects in various stages of development in Europe and western North America. For more information, go to www.cannonpowergroup.com.
About Colorado State University
Colorado State University’s three campuses, led by its flagship campus in Fort Collins, attract 31,000 new and returning scholars annually. The university is among the top research institutions in the country with about $312 million in annual research expenditures and internationally known programs in clean energy, infectious disease and cancer. The university is home to two NSF Engineering Research Centers and a Science and Technology Center and hosts one of only 10 U.S. Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases. In April, Princeton Review named it one of the greenest colleges and universities in the nation.