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    Chevelon-Butte

    Chevelon Butte header Chevelon Butte Wind Farm

    The Chevelon Butte Wind Farm is a planned 477-megawatt wind energy project in Coconino and Navajo Counties, Arizona, located approximately 20 miles south of Winslow. The project will be comprised of up to 164 wind turbines. Arizona renewable energy facilities are creating a low-cost form of energy while building a cleaner future and creating economic benefits for all Arizonans.

    The project is located on the Chevelon Butte Ranch, one of the oldest working cattle ranches in Arizona that covers approximately 42,000 acres of private and state land. The wind farm will be compatible with existing livestock ranching and hunting land uses, enabling the family and Arizona State Land Department who own the land to continue the more than century-long tradition of raising livestock and stewardship of this property.

    The first 238.2 MW phase of the project will be constructed with 57 wind turbines connecting to Arizona’s electric grid via an existing transmission line located east of the main wind farm area. This first phase is expected to be fully operational before summer 2023 to help meet Arizona’s peak summer electricity demand.

    The wind turbines for this project will be the most advanced wind energy technology deployed to date in Arizona. Other on-site components of the project include an operations and maintenance building, a substation and switchyard, a high voltage project transmission line, access roads, and a meteorological tower. The site will also feature a radar-activated lighting system that enables the federally required turbine lights to turn on only when low flying aircraft are in this remote area to preserve Northern Arizona’s dark sky characteristics.

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    Navajo region-2
    Navajo region-3
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    Benefits of Chevelon Butte Wind Farm

     

    AES is committed to being good neighbors to the Coconino and Navajo County communities.

    • A contribution to the Willow Bend Education Center with a commitment to enhancing curriculum for local K – 12 renewable energy educational programs
    • Support to the Winslow Chamber of Commerce
    • Engaged with Indigenous groups, recognizing Indigenous groups who have a distinct relationship to the land
    • Partnering with industry groups to provide solar workforce training programs to Arizona residents
    • Adhere to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wind Energy Guidelines and Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance taking steps to identify, avoid, minimize, and compensate for potential adverse impacts to species thought to be at risk from wind energy development.
    • Millions of dollars in property taxes and other local economic benefits for Coconino and Navajo Counties
    • Lease payments to the Arizona State Land Department, which fund Arizona public schools, universities, and other in-state beneficiaries
    • Lease payments to rural ranching families
    • The Project is being designed to avoid impacts to sensitive environmental and cultural resources and sited to minimize impacts to residential areas
    • When complete, the wind power from the project will generate enough clean energy to power over 150,000 homes annually, with no operational air emissions or water use
    • The property will remain a cattle ranch and the installation of wind facilities will not preclude or dramatically change existing land uses

    Project specifications

     

    Chevelon Butte Construction Schedule

    up to 477Megawatts generated

    up to 164

    Wind turbines

    30 YearUseful life

     

    200+

    Construction jobs and 10+ full time local positions

    150,000

    Homes powered

    FAQ's

    How much energy can Chevelon Butte produce?

    Chevelon Butte is capable of producing 477 megawatts of wind energy – enough to power up to 150,000 homes annually. In 2021, wind power in Arizona (618 MW) saved approximately 2 billion gallons of water and avoided at least 4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

    Why are the wind turbines so tall?

    A wind turbine’s capability to produce power increases significantly with height, as does its efficiency. The maximum permitted height of the turbines are approximately 755 feet from the base to the tip of the rotors. The Phase 1 turbines will be less than 700 feet tall, from the tower base to the maximum tip height.

    Are there health concerns associated with wind turbines?

    Wind turbines have not been shown to have an adverse impact on human health. No studies have identified a direct link between turbines and long-term health impacts such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, tinnitus, headache/migraine, hearing impairment, or other diseases. Shadow flicker and noise from the turbines have not been shown to pose a health risk.

     

    Shadow Flicker: Shadow flicker is a moving shadow created by turbine blades located between the sun and an observer. For shadow flicker to be observed, there must be a direct line of sight between an observer and the incoming shadow flicker. Sunlight and the blades have to be directly facing or facing away from the sun. This means that when shadow flicker effects are observed, it’s typically for a short duration during the low angle sunlight hours, just after sunrise and just before sunset. The farther from the turbine a person is, the less noticeable the shadow flicker would be. Shadow flicker would primarily be contained within the wind farm site and the amount of potential flicker extending into adjacent areas would be relatively short in duration and low in intensity.

     

    Shadow flicker does not have the potential to trigger epileptic seizures as epileptic seizures are precipitated by light flashes in the range from 5 to 30 Hz. The proposed project’s wind turbine blade-pass frequency is approximately 0.59 Hz, or less than 1 alternation per second, so no negative health effects to individuals with photosensitive epilepsy are anticipated. More information is available on the Epilepsy Society website here: https://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/wind-turbines-and-photosensitive-epilepsy#.XYPRjyhKiUk

     

    Noise: No scientific peer-reviewed study shows a direct link between living close to turbines, and the noise they emit (audible and inaudible), and physiological health effects. Predicted sound levels for Chevelon Butte are not expected to result in annoyance, sleep disturbance, or other health effects in the general population. Chevelon Butte is not expected to have disproportionate effects on people with autism or heightened noise sensitivity because the project’s audible noise would be low and, in most cases, imperceptible above the existing ambient noise.

    How will AES mitigate impact on the region’s endangered species populations?

    The project is not located in an environmentally sensitive area. The Chevelon Butte Wind Farm will not significantly impact threatened or endangered species in the area. AES conducted eagle and raptor studies, approved by the AZ Game and Fish Department, in the region to understand the habits of raptors. AES has committed to prescriptive setbacks from elevated eagle and raptor use areas to minimize and reduce avian collision risk. Additionally, the facility has been designed to limit perching and nesting on structures.

    How will visual impacts affect neighboring communities?

    Chevelon Butte is more than two miles from the closest home in Navajo County, and eight miles from the closest home in Coconino County. Sound and visual impacts are all mitigated with distance.

     

    Tall wind turbines often need lights installed on them to ensure that low-flying aircraft do not strike them. This can change the night sky landscape. To mitigate this impact, Chevelon Butte will use an advanced radar activated lighting system which only activates when low-flying aircrafts are sensed in the project area.

    How does Chevelon Butte contribute to local job growth?

    Chevelon Butte Wind farm will be built over two phases, which will require 200 – 300 construction jobs for each phase.

     

    Chevelon Butte will employ 10+ full-time local staff to operate and maintain the wind farm that includes an experienced site manager and wind BOP engineer, as well as wind technicians. We also employ local companies for support activities, such as electrical, mechanical, material sourcing, concrete, landscaping, and environmental monitoring.

    Does the facility cause any pollution?

    No. Power generated by wind turbines does not produce any greenhouse gas emissions.

    What happens at the end of a wind farm’s useful life?

    The anticipated life of the project is 30 years. Prior to expiration of this agreement, AES Clean Energy will evaluate whether to continue operation of the Chevelon Butte Wind Farm or to decommission it. Should the period of the project’s operation be extended, the appropriate agreements will be obtained, which may include upgrading or repowering the facility. If the project is decommissioned, the power generation equipment will be removed, and the site restored to pre-existing conditions.

    How does severe weather affect turbine operations?

    The wind turbines are designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and other severe weather such as a lightning strike. When unusual weather events occur, the wind turbines automatically curtail operations.

    How does wind power work?

    The large propeller-like blades of a turbine are designed to capture the kinetic energy of the wind. When the turbine blades begin moving, they spin a shaft that leads from the hub of the rotor to a generator, which turns that rotational energy into electricity.

    Does AES plan to develop other Arizona renewable energy projects?

    AES Clean Energy plans to continue to develop wind, solar, and energy storage energy projects in Arizona, and is committed to being a great corporate partner in all development projects.

    Questions?

    Email:

    windlandowners@aes.com

    Address:

    Chevelon Butte Wind Farm
    282 Century Place, Suite 2000
    Louisville, CO 80027

    Phone:

    800-731-3945

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