With the world’s population dramatically increasing — the number now stands at approximately seven billion people — heavy reliance on finite fossil fuels for energy generation is driving the crucial need for renewable and clean energy sources. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, fossil fuels provide approximately 80 percent of the world’s energy supply, and due to current the rate of consumption, experts predict that fossil fuels will be depleted by the end of this century.
Countries worldwide have been working with government and private agencies to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and increase the access and production of clean energy sources. In the United States alone, AECOM’s energy experts address complex challenges and shape a more positive future by regenerating cities, creating new communities, managing whole landscapes and designing inspiring public spaces.
In Weld County, Colorado, AECOM is helping the community achieve its goal of increasing its use of renewable energy by 20 percent by the year 2020 through the Cedar Creek Wind Farm. This 551.3 MW facility consists of 397 wind turbines that supply power to approximately 90,000 homes and includes:
- A nominal 330 megawatt wind energy facility, comprising turbines, three substations, and an operations and maintenance (O&M) facility;
- A 70-mile (112 kilometers) 230 kilovolt electric transmission line;
- And, a new switching station allowing the facility to interconnect with the existing transmission system.
In addition, AECOM performed an Opportunities and Constraints Analysis and site study of the facility’s 70-mile (112 kilometers) 230-kV transmission line, which included:
- Detailed resource evaluation and mapping;
- Acted as primary developer of County 1041 (area and activities of state interest) permits, one each for the wind energy generation facility, transmission line, and switching station;
- Developing the materials and leading public open house sessions to gather input from area landowners and other citizens and agencies;
- Evaluating potential impacts to land use, natural resources, cultural resources and landscape;
- Assessing and minimizing concerns of agencies and landowners;
- And developing visual simulations of the wind farm, transmission line and switching station facilities.