Green Light for Wyoming Giant

Wind Energy

The US has given the green light to the Power Company of Wyoming’s (PWC) 1.5GW Chokecherry Sierra Madre wind farm, the first part of a two-phase 3GW development.

The Federal Bureau of Land Management has issued environmental approval for the construction of 500 turbines, a road network and associated facilities in in Carbon County, Wyoming.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service also approved eagle take permits that include aviation conservation measures. It is likely that one to two bald eagles and 10 to 14 golden eagles per year would be harmed or killed by the wind farm, according to the service.

The 220,000-acre site is located on a cattle ranch consisting of checkerboard private land, federal land and state land. PCW has yet to sign a power purchase agreement but plans to export electricity about 800 miles south to California, Arizona and Nevada.

The entire project is expected to employ 1,200 workers at peak construction and more than 100 permanent operations and maintenance staff. Phase one will generate an estimated $200m in property tax revenue during construction and over the first 20 years of operation.

The 1.5GW scheme will also contribute about $116m from sales taxes and $118m from a state wind-electricity tax over 20 years. PCW is owned by the Anschutz Corporation, a privately-held company based in Denver.