Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Stulp dedicated the first Entegrity 50kW wind turbine erected on a farm in Walsh, Colo., July 17. Commissioner Stulp congratulated H20 Farms and the Fred Hefley family for being pioneers in front of a crowed of 100. The 50kW turbine will offset approximately 30 percent of the energy needs of pumping irrigation water for a center pivot sprinkler.
Farm owner Fred Hefley spoke of the many hurdles they circumnavigated to complete a project of this scope, and the many partners it took working together to make it happen. Because this is the first turbine of its size in the state, Hefleys were the first to attempt feasibility studies, finding insurance coverage, financing from banks, interconnection with the local utility company, etc. Mr. Hefley stated with the current economy "we couldn't have picked a worse time." But with much perspiration, perseverance, and a solid network of committed partners they pulled it off.
Hefley expressed gratitude to those collaborators: Southeast Colorado Resource Conservation and Development, Baca County Conservation District, Colorado State Bank, the Colorado Department of Agriculture's "Advancing Colorado's Renewable Energy" (ACRE) grant, the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology, Southeast Colorado Power Association, Entegrity Wind Systems, Rocky Mountain Farmer's Union, Baca County Farm Bureau, and McDonald Electric.
Commissioner Stulp said the ACRE program is "designed to help rural communities in Colorado by developing agricultural energy-related projects which benefit both agriculture and the environment." H20 Farms' project will become the template for other agriculture producers to use as more farmers and ranchers step into the brave new world of small-scale wind generation for agriculture applications.
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