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A wind turbine farm in Limon. Photo courtesy of Arina Habich/Alamy Stock Photo

Betting the (Wind) Farm

Xcel breaks ground on a billion-dollar wind farm in Eastern Colorado.

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Watch out, sunshine: Wind may soon unseat you as Colorado’s favorite climatic element. Last month, Xcel Energy began construction on the Eastern Plains of its long-anticipated $1 billion Rush Creek Wind Project, which, when completed in late 2018, will be the largest wind farm in the state. Together, hundreds of turbines—Denmark’s Vestas plans to manufacture them in Pueblo, Brighton, and Windsor—could power more than 300,000 Centennial State homes, offsetting one million tons of carbon emissions each year. Spanning Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, and Lincoln counties—where gusts in April, Colorado’s windiest month, can eclipse 65 mph—Rush Creek won’t just be big; the facility also will be Xcel’s most efficient wind farm in Colorado. Translation: It will cost less to run, so the utility company’s customers will save more than $400 million over Rush Creek’s first 25 years in operation. All that and no sunburn? This is the beginning of a beautiful, albeit blustery, friendship.

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