FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Platte River Power Authority and Clipper Windpower, Inc. have broken ground for Clipper's 2.5 megawatt (MW) Liberty Series wind turbine to be installed at Platte River's Medicine Bow Wind Project, located near Medicine Bow, Wyo. Platte River will purchase the energy from the commercial prototype turbine for the Fort Collins Utilities' Wind Program and the Town of Estes Park. A megawatt of wind power from the Medicine Bow site typically provides enough energy for approximately 350 homes, Clipper’s turbine can then be expected to bring enough energy for about 875 homes each year.
"We are pleased to work with an industry innovator like Clipper," said Paul Warila, Energy Services Engineer for Platte River. Warila, who is also the Medicine Bow Wind site engineer, says that the 400-foot tall turbine (including blades) is expected to be more effective in the use of land area and available wind than smaller turbines.
"Clipper is pleased to be working with Platte River in this exciting project," said Peter Stricker, Vice President of Project Development for Clipper, "We applaud their interest in the Liberty turbine and their long-term commitment to the advancement of wind energy technology."
"This commercial prototype of the Liberty turbine will be the largest wind turbine in Wyoming," said Warila. "Platte River was the first utility in Colorado to provide one of its four owner communities, Fort Collins, with wind energy in 1998, followed by the wind power program within its other owner communities of Longmont, Estes Park and Loveland."
With its experience operating a wind energy site since 1998 - the Medicine Bow Wind Project currently has 10 turbines - Platte River was a good fit with Clipper. Performance statistics for the site can be found at www.prpa.org/energysources/wind.htm.
For decades, the tallest landmark near Medicine Bow was a 4 MW Hamilton Standard wind turbine (391-feet tall) at the wind site until 2002, when Platte River demolished and scrapped the non-working turbine. Now, a new landmark will reach to the sky when construction of the Liberty turbine is complete.
Platte River Power Authority generates reliable, low-cost and environmentally responsible electricity used by its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland since 1973.
Clipper is comprised of the founder and key executives of Zond Systems, one of the pioneers of the modern wind industry, with over 3,000 wind turbines and a 20-year history of project development and operation to its credit. Clipper presents a new platform marshaling a unique and powerful combination of management and technical talent, along with breakthrough technology and substantial project development resources. Clipper is in the business of developing, owning and operating wind energy generating projects, and developing wind turbine technology aimed at lowering the cost of wind generated electricity.