The 640-acre Niobrara Energy Park was approved in March 2011 by the Weld County Commissioners and the zoning plat was signed in August 2011, detailing more than 45 energy and data land uses. According to Craig Harrison, president of Harrison Resource, his company has conducted 21 feasibility studies on the project.
"This region has $1.2 billion in economic activity, including power creation, data centers, natural gas plants and more," said Harrison. "The Fortune 100 companies investigating this project call it one of the largest 'utility-scale' micro-grids on the planet, and Colorado Senator Mark Udall called it a 'private energy island. “We're very excited to engage with CH2M HILL and IDC Architects to continue working toward bringing this project to fruition within the next few years." "It's exciting for us to be involved in what we believe to be one of the first projects of its kind," said Tim Meier, president of IDC Architects. IDC will develop the Niobrara Energy Park vision book by the end of 2011.
Within a close radius of Niobrara Energy Park is a multitude of energy and data-center initiatives, including BP Wind Energy's $300 million, 300-megawatt wind farm, Duke Energy wind farms, Xcel Energy's Ponnequin Wind Farm and NASA's Aerospace Clean Energy Manufacturing and Innovation Park. Recently, Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power announced Wyoming's first natural gas-fired power plant. EchoStar is building an $80 million data center nearby. And at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center, one of the top 10 fastest supercomputers in the world is currently under construction, which boasts free, 97 percent outdoor air cooling.
The Niobrara Energy Park is on the market as one project for a single buyer or joint venture.