After careful consideration, Cannon Power Group has determined that building a wind project at Colorado State University’s Maxwell Ranch property is not commercially attractive for the company and has decided to end its lease agreement with the university.
In June, the Colorado State University Research Foundation, or CSURF, announced it had signed a lease with Cannon to develop, design and construct a wind farm on 8,000 acres of the 11,000-acre Maxwell Ranch property. CSURF is a private, non-profit advocacy organization that manages the university’s real estate holdings, intellectual property and technology transfer activities.
After further investigating the project, Cannon officials decided not to participate in the development, said Bill Farland, Colorado State vice president for Research. The company’s first lease payment would have been due at the end of the year.
“We appreciate the fact that Cannon was open throughout this process and we think they did a good job in terms of their due diligence. We understand this is a business decision,” Farland said. “While we’re disappointed this didn’t work out, we will step back at this point and take some time to review our options with regard to the site and potentially other renewable energy activities that could involve research and students.”
Farland stressed that the university would continue to pursue other clean and renewable energy projects that benefit the campus and surrounding community. The university has spent decades on water conservation and recycling efforts in addition to building projects on campus that cut energy consumption. On the university’s Foothills Campus, a biomass boiler helps reduce energy usage and one of the largest solar plants at a U.S. university is finishing construction.
“We’re going to continue to pursue clean energy opportunities that make economic sense for our campus while at the same time providing research and educational opportunities for our students,” Farland said.