Colorado Has More Wind Energy Jobs Than Most, Report Finds

<p>(Grace Hood/CPR News)</p>
<p>Vestas wind blades await transportation via rail at the company&#039;s Brighton facility.</p>
Photo: Vestas wind blades (STAFF)
Vestas wind blades await transportation via rail at the company's Brighton facility.

a report by the American Wind Energy Association released this week.

In fact, the whole industry saw tremendous growth fueled by a five-year extension of a federal tax credit, according to the association. While more utilities are seeking to add wind energy to the grid, the cost of producing the blades and turbines is going down, explained Tom Darin, senior director of Western State Policy for the Association.

“We’re going to see these policies and our low costs continue to drive demand, and continue to drive these banner years like we had in 2015,” Darin said.

The ranking comes as the president of Xcel Energy Colorado announced plans to construct one of the largest wind projects in the state—a wind farm in eastern Colorado that will add another 600 megawatts to the grid.

Xcel will formally seek approval from the state next month, said David Eaves, president of the company.

“This is a project that will create hundreds of millions of savings for Colorado energy customers. It will reduce our emissions by another 3 percent,” he said.