"This is an important milestone in our continued progress," Knapton said of the ground breaking. The wind farm will create six jobs initially and 60 by 2013. The event was attended by about 55 area residents and officials.
Vert-I-Go builds midsize vertical-axis wind turbines which are different from most wind turbines in New Mexico which are mostly horizontal-axis. Knapton said the wind turbines will also connect to the energy grid by distribution lines, instead of transmission lines likes most turbines.
Knapton said vertical-axis allows for a gearbox and generator to be on the ground. "It’s an advantage in both maintenance and operation," he said.
Knapton said the first wind turbine will be built in phases and is expected to be finished in time to take advantage of winter, the windiest season.
He said the company used multi-year studies by the New Mexico State University to configure the wind turbines to take full advantage of the area’s wind patterns.
He said more wind turbines will be built as funds are available. The company purchased city land with the option to buy 34 more acres.
"Nationally, there’s not a lot of economic development going on and there is here in Clovis and that’s a great thing," Mayor Gayla Brumfield said.
State Rep. Anna Crook, R-Clovis, said she’s excited to see economic development of wind energy on the east side of the state.
State Sen. Clint Harden, R-Clovis, said he’s looking forward to the manufacturing aspect of wind power. The company has leased an 11,000 square foot building in Clovis that will be used as an assembly facility. "It’s a new dollar…and its manufacturing that doesn’t use a lot of water," Harden said.
Groundbreaking for Vert-I-Go Wind Energy, LLC to be held in Clovis
On Wednesday, June 23, a groundbreaking will take place for the initial operating site of Vert-I-Go Wind Energy LLC at a location south of Clovis. Vert-I-Go, a subsidiary of Abundant Energy LLC, reached an agreement with the City of Clovis in January to purchase six acres of land south of the city landfill with an option to add an additional 34 acres for further development.
The Groundbreaking will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the southeast corner of the intersection of County Road 8 and County Road I.
Vert-I-Go Wind Energy’s wind turbines utilize vertical-axis technology to harness wind energy, and their design allows the generation of clean and renewable electricity on the distribution side of the energy grid.
Kurt Knapton, CEO of Abundant Energy, says that one wind turbine will require approximately one acre of land for its operation and anticipates that the first turbine in Clovis – which will also be the first of its kind anywhere – will be operational "by the windy season this winter."
"This is a unique technology and it’s a unique approach," Knapton says. "We feel like it’s the right approach for Clovis and the right fit for the wind pattern there."
The building of wind turbines near Clovis won’t be the only business Abundant Energy will have in the area. The company has leased an 11,000-square foot building in Clovis, near the railroad lines, that can eventually be utilized as an assembly facility for future projects in other parts of the country.
"The renewable energy potential in and around Clovis is tremendous, but it remains untapped," Knapton said. "Our mid-sized, vertical-axis wind turbines are the right fit for Clovis because they solve two stubborn problems that have thwarted past efforts to harness the wind in the area: namely, transmission line dependency and aviation radar interference concerns.
"Because Vert-I-Go wind turbines work with distribution lines (not transmission lines) for grid access, and since our turbines do not rise high enough to cause air base radar interference, we believe our technology paves the way for successful targeted wind farms in Clovis," he added.
For more information about Verti-I-Go please contact: Kurt Knapton, CEO, Abundant Energy LLC at 817/307-2898; or Jim Burns, President, Abundant Energy LLC at 972/854-1678.
By Liliana Castillo, Clovis News Journal, www.clovis-news-nm.com/