Nov 052009
 
Authors: Aaron Hedge

CSU ended its partnership this week with its developer for its plan to build a wind farm north of Fort Collins, which was part of an environmentally friendly initiative intended to completely delete the university’s carbon footprint.

The project, which was announced by former university President Larry Penley at his annual state of the university speech the year before last, has long been touted at CSU as an initiative that would further CSU’s image as “the green university.”

Bill Farland, the vice president for Research at CSU, said Thursday that the university is still committed to the project and the CSU Research Foundation will look for other developers in the coming months.

“. we will review our options for moving forward and will most likely develop requests for proposals from interested parties,” he said in an e-mail to the Collegian Wednesday.

Wind Holding, LLC, the contractor for the wind farm fell into what the university called “default” with the project after it failed to make deadlines for building applications and late payments to the university at the end of the summer.

The lofty goal to bring CSU to carbon neutrality by 2020 mirrors a national movement for more environmental responsibility in the United States –/one that has little fanfare and a large number of critics as it requires a much better technological energy infrastructure than what currently exists.

Problems with the project, including CSU’s separation with Wind Holding, have long been heralded by people who oppose the initiative, namely those who live in the area where the wind farm would be constructed.

Many area residents said last year that the Green Power Project is merely a money-making gimmick for CSU on a piece of land that was meant for agricultural research.

The land CSU wants to build the wind farm on was donated to the university by a prominent Northern Colorado rancher named Fred Maxwell, who indicated in his will that the land was only to be used for research on the impacts of ranching on the environment.

But, two years ago, the university received an opinion from the Colorado general attorney that dictated the project was legitimate.

Development Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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