Xcel Energy-Colorado has completed construction of the 500-megawatt Cheyenne Ridge wind farm on the Eastern Plains of Colorado.
The Denver Post reported the 229-turbine facility in Cheyenne and Kit Carson counties near I-70 in eastern Colorado will provide enough energy to power about 270,000 homes, Xcel Energy said in a statement Wednesday. The project, owned by the utility, was completed ahead of schedule and began operating in August.
Earlier in September, Cheyenne Ridge helped Xcel Energy set a record for hourly wind generation in Colorado when the wind power on its system served close to 70% of the energy for customers.
Cheyenne Ridge will help move Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest electric utility, closer to its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2030, the company said. And by 2026, more than half of the power produced by Xcel will come from wind and solar energy, according to the utility.
Xcel Energy has set a goal of being 100% carbon free by 2050.
The Cheyenne Ridge project will also generate economic benefits for area landowners, Xcel Energy said. Over its life, the wind farm is expected to generate about $107 million in lease payments for landowners and $29 million in new tax revenue.
A recent report by the organization The Western Way found that more than 95% of the state’s renewable energy capacity is on the Eastern Plains, producing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in benefits each year.
In February, Xcel Energy completed a new 125-mile transmission line to carry electricity from the wind turbines to metro Denver.