The winding story of CSU’s long-running attempt to build a wind farm on the university’s Maxwell Ranch site took another turn recently as the school has finally broken ties with the project’s developer: Wind Holding LLC.
The Maxwell Ranch project was intended to make CSU energy-independent while helping the environment and perhaps even making some revenue.
But problems arose when former CSU President Larry Penley selected a developer for the project who has appeared to be anything but exceptional or world-class as the project’s vision statement claimed the wind farm would be.
That hand-chosen developer, Wind Holding LLC, ran into numerous problems, notably being a general inability to secure a construction permit, having twice to pay a fee to CSU for not getting a permit for the site in a timely fashion; it should have been secured last year.
But August of 2009 rolled around and Wind Holding still held no permit to develop the farm. Already in breach of contract, CSU gave Wind Holding another 60 days to get the construction permit. After failing to meet that deadline, CSU gave Wind Holding another 30 days to secure the permit, implying that this time the university was serious.
Wind Holding CEO Bruce Morley dismissed the deadline as irrelevant in an interview with the Collegian last month, but CSU belatedly finally terminated the contract Wednesday.
How’d CSU get in such a mess with an incompetent developer? This project was Penley’s brainchild, and he foolishly chose to not get bids for the project.
Instead, he decided, without a competitive process, to simply hand this gold mine of a project to Wind Holding LLC. The results, as could be expected, have been dismal, and CSU’s termination of the Wind Holding contract Wednesday was a long overdue step toward fixing Penley’s gross error.