Landowners are concerned about proposed plans to repower the Elk Wind Project between Greeley and Edgewood.
Greenbacker Capital recently became the full equity owner of the wind farm, which was previously owned by RPM Access. They’re looking at repowering the turbines by replacing the blades, rotors and all internal electrical parts.
The current turbines are 492 feet high with a hub height of 328 feet and rotor diameter of 327 feet. Greenbacker Capital is looking to replace the current rotors and hub with slightly larger rotors. The new proposed hub height would to to 329 feet with a tip height of 537 feet and rotor diameter of 417 feet.
The estimated cost to upgrade each tower is estimated at $1.5 to $2 million – about a $40 million investment in the project. If allowed to repower the turbines, the old equipment would stay on the current valuation schedule. Any new equipment added during the repower would be allowed to start the valuation process over again. It means the first year would be at 0% increasing 5% per year over the next 6 years until it hits the 30% maximum valuation limit per the county’s current ordinance.
Greenbacker Capital is submitting a formal request to the Delaware County Board of Supervisors for a variance to the current ordinance.
On Monday, the Board heard from landowners on their concerns about the plans. Therese Beswick says they had a good relationship with RPM, but have not received a lot of communication from the new company – other than a letter received in September. Several landowners are concerned about the lack of communication, as well as heavy crane equipment driving over their farmland again to replace the tower parts.
The County says Greenbacker Capital plans to be at the next Supervisors meeting on Monday, December 21st to discuss the proposed changes. The landowners are invited to attend as well.