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Environment / Sustainability

CSURF gives developer 60 days to comply with wind farm contract

August 5, 2009

The Board of Trustees of the Colorado State University Research Foundation, or CSURF, at its July meeting agreed to send an official notice of default to Wind Holding LLC, the developer hired to build a wind farm on the CSURF-owned Maxwell Ranch.

Lack of satisfactory progress

The board voted at its regular meeting July 23 to issue the notice, which gives Wind Holding 60 days to remedy the conditions of default and comply with the provisions of its CSURF contract to build a wind farm.

The 60-day period began July 25 - when Wind Holding received the notice via certified mail.

“The board took action because Wind Holding has failed to make satisfactory progress on the project and meet some financial obligations related to the project,” said Kathleen Henry, president and CEO of CSURF.

Impact studies funded

Henry emphasized that Wind Holding met its financial obligations with CSURF, a private non-profit organization that handles real estate transactions on behalf of the university. The research foundation received two $50,000 payments from Wind Holding since the project was originally announced in March 2007. The funds were used to pay for studies on potential impacts of the wind farm, particularly affects on real estate and the economic impacts of the project.

Colorado State plans a wind farm - called the CSU Green Power Project - on roughly 8,000 acres of the university's 11,000-acre Maxwell Ranch near the Colorado-Wyoming border. The ranch was donated to CSURF by the Maxwell family in the 1970s for use by the university and for conducting research.

Colorado State still committed to project

“Colorado State is still very much committed to building a wind farm at the Maxwell Ranch at an appropriate time and in a way that makes sense to the campus community, county officials and nearby residents,” said Bill Farland, senior vice president for Research and Engagement.“The university is a leader in clean energy research and operating as a green campus and we remain focused on moving forward with this and other projects, such as a two-megawatt solar farm we announced Monday on the Foothills campus. The wind farm will provide a venue for research to continue to improve wind technologies and grid integration while at the same time meeting the state’s 'green energy' goals."

"Green" leader

Colorado State University sets the standard as a sustainable and environmentally responsible institution of higher education and the nation’s “green” leader. This commitment has taken the form of a three-part strategy: green campus operations, educating tomorrow’s green workforce - partly through the new School of Global Environmental Sustainability - and deploying research to promote environmental sustainability worldwide.

More than 10 percent of the electricity used to power the Foothills Campus will come from renewable sources – from the solar plant and a new biomass boiler built in July. Colorado State also recently added solar panels on the roof of the Engineering Building and panels are planned on other buildings now under construction.

Clean energy faculty research on the rise

On the research side, faculty members are increasing the number of invention disclosures filed as part of the Clean Energy Supercluster, a unique business model that helps move inventions more quickly into the commercial marketplace. More than 50 percent of the clean energy invention disclosures filed in the past 15 years have been filed in the past two years.

One successful CSU startup - Solix Biofuels Inc. – as recently as last week opened its four-acre biofuels facility at Coyote Gulch on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation near Durango. The company is exploring the extraction of biodiesel from algae.


CSURF aids the university with intellectual property patenting and licensing management; university start-ups; equipment leasing and municipal lease administration; financing of equipment, real estate and buildings through mortgage debt obligations; and land acquisition, development and management.

Contact: Emily Wilmsen
Phone: (970) 491-2336