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Golden West Power Partners is proposing to erect a wind farm on 23,000 acres east of the Paint Mines near Calhan. The wind farm company had offered to pay parks $200,000 if it were allowed to place turbines 2300 feet (less than half a mile) from the Paint Mines. The Parks Board unanimously voted that offer down and opposed allowing the company to place any turbines closer than 1.5 miles to the Paint Mines. TOSC supports their reasoning and position. Please note that we do not oppose the building of the wind farm itself, only the placement of the turbines so close to a natural area. The Paint Mines are prized for their unique geological formation as well as the solitude they afford. The sight and sound of the turbines will detract from that experience.

Please contact El Paso County Commissioners before February 5th and let them know that you too want the wind company to abide by the 1.5 mile requirement to preserve the tranquility of the Paint Mines. No amount of money will “mitigate” the damage to the user experience that close-in turbines would create.

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Background:  The proposed 250-Megawatt wind farm just east of the Paint Mines Interpretive Park has changed hands. The new owner, Golden West Power Partners, has proposed rezoning the previously approved windfarm plan to relocate the wind turbines, increase their power generation capability and increase their height from 427 ft. to 453 ft.
The potential noise and visual effect on the Paint Mines visitor experience was unsatisfactory with the previous plan and will get worse with larger turbines. The El Paso County Parks Board recognizes this and recommended that the wind turbines be located at least 1.5 mines from the Paint Mines. They also deleted an option that would have allowed Golden West to pay the County $200,000 to ‘mitigate’ the noise and visual effects on park users by funding nearby projects.

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