No new wind farms have been built in Wyoming since 2010. But that may soon change.
Invenergy, a Chicago-based company, has proposed building a 120 megawatt facility in northwestern Unita County, which will produce enough electricity to power roughly 40,000 homes. The company has secured a special use permit from county commissioners and is expected to file an application with the state Industrial Siting Council sometime this year.
Wind power is booming nationally, with developers installing some 8 gigawatts of new capacity across the country last year. But new development in Wyoming has been stymied by a lack of transmission capacity. That doesn't figure to be an issue in the Invenergy proposal.
The proposed site is located near an existing wind farm operated by TransAlta, said Krista Mann, Invenergy senior business development manager. Between 50 and 70 turbines would be built on a site largely made up of private land. The topography is suitable for development and transmission is available, she said.
"The site has a really good wind resource," she said.
Invenergy touts itself as the largest independent wind developer in North America. The company has 2,078 megawatts of wind capacity in advanced development or construction, according to its website. Many wind developers build a project and then sell it to an operating firm. In Invenergy's case, the company owns and operates wind projects, Mann said.
The company has filed an application for an interconnection agreement with PacifiCorp., a Portland-based utility that serves Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming and, to a lesser extent, Washington.
"We're still learning about the area," Mann said. "We hope we could achieve operations in the next couple of years."