Articles from Wyoming
Wind Wyoming’s Way announced Wednesday it would spend the next year-and-a-half gathering signatures and trying to build support to increase taxes on wind energy production. The group proposes raising the current tax from $1 per megawatt hour to $5 per megawatt hour. It also would eliminate the three-year tax exemption currently in place for new wind projects.
Gov. Mark Gordon released a draft executive order to bolster migration corridor protections. The draft, published on Dec. 23, attempted to thread the needle between the need to preserve precious wildlife and the need to support Wyoming’s lucrative energy sector. Of the eight ungulate species, or hoofed mammals, making up the one million or so migrating mammals across Wyoming, the executive order places special emphasis on two: mule deer and pronghorn. Since its release, the draft has been lauded by several groups as a winning example of science-based wildlife management policy. Still, others fear it could add one more set of hurdles for energy developers to leap through.
South of Laramie, there's a road that goes straight into the plains. Over the hill, it's just open country, boulders and eventually, a tan house with a large porch facing the Rockies.
ConnectGen, a renewable energy development company based out of Houston, Texas, has started the permitting stages of constructing a 504-megawatt wind farm stretching across public and private land on both sides of the highway. The project would encompass 26,000-acres close to Tie Siding.
The saga of the two planned wind farm projects will continue into the spring, according to Carbon County Planning and Zoning Director Sid Fox. He said as much on Tuesday morning at the first Carbon County Commissioners’ meeting of 2020, when the board rejected the conditional use permit applications for the Lucky Star and Two Rivers wind farms.
RAWLINS — The saga of the two planned wind farm projects will continue into the spring, according to Carbon County Planning and Zoning Director Sid Fox.
According to a letter submitted to the Sweetwater County Land Use Office regarding the solar project’s proposal April 27, 2018, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department was concerned with how the facility’s perimeter fence would cause antelope and big game to funnel onto Wyo. Highway 372. The WGFD feared this would cause increased collisions between vehicles and wildlife.
Debate over the fate of Wyoming’s bustling migration corridors dominated a packed natural resource committee meeting Wednesday in Casper. State lawmakers and key stakeholders wrestled over how to maintain both a robust energy industry and healthy environment for the state’s iconic migratory game. Ultimately, committee members voted to sponsor a new bill that could overhaul how the state regulates migration corridors and expand the corridor designation process beyond the purview of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
The future of a planned wind project between Albany and Carbon counties is now in question. The result of that could mean the loss of $5 million “impact assistance” funding that governments in Carbon and Albany counties were set to receive from the state.
One wind farm in Glenrock and two from the Saratoga area have partnered with the Casper Regional Landfill to dispose of their old wind turbine blades. More than 900 blades will be brought to the landfill beginning now until the end of next spring.
If you’re looking for examples of small government in Wyoming, towns like Medicine Bow, population 267, undoubtedly set the standard.
The project is located on 49,974 acres of city of Cheyenne, state of Wyoming and private lands in Laramie County. The 17-month construction period is expected to start this month and wrap up by the end of 2020.
Committee co-chairman Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, has been a major proponent of an increase in the wind tax. While he was interested in the potential of changes to the state’s wind tax structure, he didn’t think Wyoming needed to worry about its competitiveness with its western neighbors. Considering Wyoming’s placement geographically, Case said developers looking to feed Washington and Oregon with renewable energy wouldn’t be able to stay out of the state, despite a higher cost of development.
...the project stands nowhere near ready to meet the original start-up date of this September. No turbines have been installed, and none will be available for installation for another three years. According to Jacobson, 2022 is being projected as the year when PCW would begin raising wind turbines.
At the Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners annual meeting in Cheyenne last week, Idaho Public Utilities Commission President Paul Kjellander asked why the Energy Vision 2020 project was moving forward when his state has enough electricity for years to come. Idaho is one of the project’s intended recipients. California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker questioned the construction of so much wind power in Wyoming — including a planned 3,000-MW project — and said there isn’t a clear transmission path to California.
Rocky Mountain Power responded to inquiries into the dispute by stating, “Rocky Mountain Power cannot comment directly on the ongoing complaint proceedings between the company and Boswell Wind at the Wyoming Public Service Commission. However, Rocky Mountain Power takes both its commitments to provide affordable, reliable electricity to customers, and its contractual commitments seriously.”
As all construction efforts have been suspended, impact assistance funds issued by the Industrial Siting Council to relieve burdens caused by an influx of workers have also stopped. As no workers will be entering either Carbon or Albany counties until the dispute concludes, the payments have been made unnecessary for most communities.
RAWLINS – Dr. Rob Godby, an expert with the University of Wyoming Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy, told attendees at the annual Carbon County Economic Development meeting on Monday that a large wind production tax hike could hinder local production.
Wyoming will pay local communities in the state’s windiest region a little over $5 million to address the impacts from two wind developments now edging forward. ...Over time large projects generate jobs and revenue, but the construction phase comes first. County and town budgets aren’t necessarily able to absorb the impact, said Wichmann.