Commissioners get utility updates

by Larry Patrick

WALSENBURG-  The commissioners got gas and wind power project updates at the Wednesday meeting.  The Colorado Interstate Gas Company gave an overview of their pipeline project called the Raton 2010 Expansion Project.  They also held a public meeting last night at the Community Center for affected landowners and the public.  They want to increase the Raton Basin natural gas production by 130 million cubic feet a day, and want to install 117 miles of 16” pipe near Weston to Widefield, which is near Colorado Springs. The pipeline would go through parts of the Aguilar area. Right of way acquisition will begin next month and run through parts of Huerfano County too.  Construction is planned for November of 2009 with an anticipated completion of May 2010. There will be workers staying, eating and shopping in towns like Walsenburg during much of the construction. The company gave the commissioners an update as to what is being done and how they are doing it.

    The Spanish Peaks Wind Energy Project update was given to the County Commissioners. The county had authorized installation of two test towers for measuring purposes.  San Isabel Electric Association is working with the project.  National Wind has also joined forces for the project.  They are the largest community based wind tower developer in the nation.  The project appears to be moving forward with a final plan expected within 12 to 24 months.  Tri-State will have a system impact study available early next year.  Another  update will be given in January.  The full number of towers to be built is not yet known but 50 is a good starting estimate.