When Steve Forbes sold his family’s 250-square-mile Colorado ranch to Moore Capital Management’s Louis Bacon, he said Bacon’s conservation bona fides were an important factor (his $175 million didn’t hurt, either). Now, Bacon is trying to make good on that reputation, battling a plan that he says will drive power lines through undeveloped mountains and valleys.
Bacon has asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to junk a proposed 140-mile power line sought by Xcel Energy and the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. The companies say the $180 million project is needed to both provide more reliable electric service to the area and to transmit renewable energy from it.
Bacon says there is a less obtrusive route that the utilities could use through his Trinchera Ranch. The two companies say that route would add 125 miles to the project and increase its price tag by tens of millions of dollars.
An administrative law judge will begin hearing arguments on the matter next week. That judge will also consider Bacon’s allegation that the utilities improperly met with the CPUC without a Trinchera representative.
Talks excluding an interested party “are widely prohibited” and “violate due process,” Trinchera said.
Trinchera wants those commission members who participated in the talks excluded from voting on the proposal.