Friday, September 23, 2011


The dream of 60 Clipper Windpower turbines producing green energy in southwestern Guthrie County is no more.

However, the project is not dead; it has just taken on a new owner. According to a deed transfer dated August 19, signed by Clipper Windpower in Ventura County, California, Mid-American Energy Company has bought the rights to the project.

The Clipper Windpower Guthrie County project, titled "Eclipse," began in 2006 with the hopes of bringing 60 new 2.5 megawatt wind turbines to an approximately 20 square mile area just north of Adair in southwest Guthrie County.

The wind towers selected were to be 262 feet high with a maximum blade tip height of 420 feet.

According to data provided in August 2010 by then county assessor Barry Stetzel, the total project cost was estimated at $206.5 million.

Over ninety area landowners were affected by Eclipse's footprint, some for actual turbine installation and others for transmission line access.

Clipper Windpower had repeatedly moved initial construction dates back, stating in early 2010 they hoped to begin work by February 2011, subsequently sliding that date back to "late 2011."

However, financial difficulties and failure to secure affordable transmission line access were likely factors in Clipper Windpower selling Eclipse to MidAmerican Energy according to a recent interview with current county assessor Rusty Pearson.

Pearson noted Mid-American has the infrastructure needed to make the project work, including ownership of vital transmission lines in northern Adair County.

Pearson stated in initial discussions with MidAmer-ican representatives, the company indicated plans to move forward rapidly with the project, seeking to have construction bids awarded by late fall. The company stands to lose large government grant money if the project is not completed by December 31, 2012.

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