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Ponnequin Wind Farm

Ponnequin Wind Farm

This Wind Farm has 44 wind turbines that use wind to make electricity

Overview

Location: Weld County in Northern Colorado, just south of the Wyoming border and east of Interstate 25.

Plant Description: 44 wind turbines

Power Production Capabilities: 26.5 megawatts (MW).

About the Facility: Xcel Energy owns Ponnequin Wind Farm, and owns and operates 37 of the 44 turbines. Ponnequin Acquisitions owns and operates the remaining seven turbines. The power produced at Ponnequin is sold through Xcel Energy’s Windsource® program.

Plant History

Phase One: The first 29 turbines installed at Ponnequin generate up to 750 kilowatts of electricity each. They were manufactured by NEG Micon USA, Inc. It takes a wind speed of 7 miles per hour (mph) to operate the turbines, so they spin most of the time. When the wind blows faster than 56 mph the turbines stop spinning to protect them from damage.

Phase Two: The facility expanded with the installation of 15 additional turbines that became operational in the summer of 2001. Vestas American Wind Technology, a subsidiary of Vestas Wind Systems A/S. manufactured these turbines. The Vestas turbines are each capable of generating up to 660 kilowatts of electricity. They begin generating electricity with wind speeds of 9 mph, achieve maximum output at 33 mph and stop spinning at 56 mph to protect them from damage.

Interesting Features

Vestas Turbines:
Distance from the ground to the nacelle: 213 feet or 65 meters.
Diameter of rotor blades: 154 feet or 47 meters.

NEG Micron Turbines:
Weight: 98 tons each
Tower-57 tons
Turbine body-26 tons
Rotor- 15 tons
Distance from the ground to the nacelle: 181 feet or 55 meters.
Diameter of rotor blades: 159 feet or 48.2 meters.

Wind Farm Facts:
A wind turbine works the opposite of an electric fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft that connects to a generator and makes electricity. One megawatt of wind power can serve the entire electrical needs of more than 300 customers. The nacelle is a fiberglass shell, which houses control equipment and sits on top of the tower. Attached to the nacelle is the hub. Three blades are attached to the hub, which form the rotor. All of the Vestas nacelles automatically rotate the turbine blades into the wind to maximize electricity output. The peak wind-generating season at Ponnequin is from October through March, when the strongest northwesterly winds blow across Colorado. Ponnequin also sells wholesale wind energy to Holy Cross, Colorado Springs, Yampa Valley and Grand Valley.

Operation: The Ponnequin wind turbines are monitored on-site. Personnel at the facility's shop and control center operate and maintain the wind farm. The control center is connected to the turbines by many miles of buried computer-grade cable.

Environmental Highlights

Native wildlife continues to inhabit the area surrounding the wind farm. In addition, a number of tours are given throughout the year.

For more information contact:

Plant Information and Tour Requests — 1-800-895-4999
Colorado Media Inquiries
303-294-2300
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Our products and services differ based on state. Please select your state (or the state you're interested in) from the list to the left.

Why do our products and services differ based on state? Because our business is regulated by state. We have regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. The different regulatory body for each state we serve determines what products and services we deliver in that state.