The wind turbines on his Colorado farm are 20 years old. Who’s going to take them down? |

The wind turbines on his Colorado farm are 20 years old. Who’s going to take them down?

Shannon Najmabadi
The Colorado Sun
Tom Fehringer was among the first landowners near his home in Peetz, located north of Sterling, to sign a contract leasing his land for wind energy. That was over 20 years ago. Driving around his property in his pickup truck, his wind turbines are visible as well as dozens of others belonging to his neighbors.
Kathryn Scott/Special to The Colorado Sun

PEETZ — It was the spring of 2000 when two wind company representatives came to Tom Fehringer’s farm near the Nebraska border. 

They told him about a coming wind project and pressed him to sign a contract on the spot to lease his land for turbines. Fehringer consulted an attorney in Sterling who said the contract was vague but fairly similar to what an oil and gas company might present. The agreement was signed within a few weeks. Fehringer soon had nine of the Peetz Table wind project’s 33 turbines turning on his Logan County land.

Fehringer, 71, had long been intrigued by renewable energy. He’d considered erecting a wind turbine for his own use and has solar panels outside his house. He calls himself a “firm believer in science” and global warming.

The wind towers were attractive for another reason: enXco, the developer of the project, was offering landowners $1,000 per tower, per year.

“You come out here dangling $1,000 and that’s big,” Fehringer said. “Nobody’s getting millions, but what it’s done to the property tax base, it’s been huge.” 

But by 2001, the year the project became operational, Fehringer wanted to renegotiate. 

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