Plans for second Roosevelt County wind farm taking shape

Argen Duncan

Plans for a proposed new wind farm in Roosevelt County are taking shape.

Bill Castor, vice president of development in the Terra-Gen Power LLC office in Denver, said he couldn’t discuss specifics, but his company was contemplating a wind energy project of at least 150 megawatts in Roosevelt County. He would like to start commercial operations of the Roosevelt Wind Farm in January 2013.

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However, negotiations are still under way, so plans aren’t set. The renewable energy business is challenging and competitive, Castor said, and things may not happen on the expected timeline.

Still, he said the situation is looking favorable, and he hopes to have more clarity in 60 to 90 days.

“A project of this magnitude will bring on the order of 200 construction jobs,” Castor said.

After construction, he continued, the wind farm might provide about six to 10 permanent operations jobs.

Also, Castor said the 150 megawatt first phase was a conservative plan.

“I think the potential for that to be significantly larger exists,” he said.

Castor said the abundant wind, access to the PNM transmission system and community support drew Terra-Gen to Roosevelt County.

“We’ve been working on the site for a little over three years,” he said.

Roosevelt County Community Development Director Greg Fisher said Terra-Gen is one of three big wind energy companies with which he’s been working. According to the company’s website, it owns 831 megawatts in 21 renewable energy projects in western United States.

Fisher said a project such as Roosevelt Wind Ranch would bring a drastic increase in construction activity, which the community would need to accommodate with lodging and services for up to a year.

“It’s a bit of a boom during the construction phase,” he said. “After that, it’s a steady source of clean energy and revenue for land owners and Roosevelt County.”

Also, Fisher said with Roosevelt Wind Farm as the county’s second wind energy facility, it could be easier to attract even more such projects. The San Juan Mesa Wind Project near Elida has been operating for several years.

Information: Bill Castor at 646-829-3933.