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The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recently reported that the  American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided a “lifeline” for many wind projects, helping stabilize the industry. Last year  alone the ARRA  distributed over one billion dollars in grants to help projects across the country.

Now its community wind’s turn. The Department of Energy, through the ARRA wanted to help fund community-based projects.  NECO Wind, a 650 megawatt project in Northeast Colorado, is one of only five to receive this support.

Last week NECO Wind was awarded $2.5 million to help fund its first 30 megawatt phase in Phillips County, Colorado.  The entire 650 megawatts plans to be developed across the three counties of Phillips,  Sedgwick and Logan.

Senator Mark Udall has worked closely with NECO’s  managing partner, National Wind, in support of the project.

Senator Udall congratulates NECO for its ‘creative proposal to generate jobs, strengthen the community and provide clean energy to northeast Colorado.’

Currently, NECO Wind has 125 local participating landowners. With 81,000 acres signed, the project has made swift progress and is almost complete with site control. Revenues from the project will be shared with local landowners, a unique characteristic of National Wind’s community model.