Library from Wyoming
Pacific Power has asked regulators in Wyoming for approval to install 66 wind turbines capable of generating 99 megawatts of electricity at a former coal mine. The Glenrock Wind Energy Project would be constructed at Pacific Power's former Dave Johnston Coal Mine, a surface coal mine that operated for 40 years until it shut down in 2000. The nine-mile site has since been restored to its original appearance.
Wyoming's next energy boom could ride in on the wind. There's a December 31, 2008, expiration date on a federal tax credit for "utility scale" wind development. And within that window of time, utilities must quickly expand the percentage of renewable energy in their electrical portfolios to meet aggressive new standards in several Western states. Building a wind farm is no breeze. There must be strings attached --- power lines.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. A problem with potholes has prompted officials to move toward banning heavy trucks from a road in far southeastern Wyoming, potentially hobbling a multi-million-dollar wind farm project launched by a Virginia company. The Laramie County Commission voted yesterday to ban certain vehicles from Laramie County Road 164. The ban could ultimately include heavy trucks, with exceptions for farm machinery and military trucks transporting ballistic missiles. Trucks had been using the road to haul gravel to the Cedar Creek Wind Project outside Grover, Colorado. When complete, the 480 (m) million dollar wind farm will have 274 turbines producing enough electricity for 120-thousand homes. The project was being developed by Greenlight Energy Incorporated of Charlottesville, Virginia. The company is linked to Houston-based B-P Alternative Energy North America.
The old Warren ranch was broken up and sold off over the years, and Cheyenne was able to purchase some 18,000 acres (including state section leases) of the Belvoir Ranch west of the city. Initially, Cheyenne was interested in the site for water development, a wind farm and a future landfill, but as time went on, there was growing interest in the property for its recreational and wildlife habitat opportunities, Abel said.
Tierra Energy LLC announced today that it has secured a contract to build a $55 million wind farm that will supply a Wyoming power company with renewable energy. Austin-based Tierra Energy's subsidiary, Happy Jack Windpower, will provide Cheyenne Light Fuel & Power with wind-generated energy over a 20-year period. Cheyenne Light Fuel & Power is a subsidiary of Rapid City, S.D.-based Black Hills Corp. (NYSE:BKH).
Homes and businesses in Wyoming’s capital could be powered partly by the area’s infamous wind by late 2008. Cheyenne’s electrical utility Tuesday announced plans for a 30 megawatt wind farm near the city landfill. Construction on the project could begin in 2007, and production could start by fall 2008, according to a news release from Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power. Tierra Energy of Austin, Texas, won a contract to erect 14 turbines next to the city’s Happy Jack landfill. Cheyenne Light has agreed to buy 30 megawatts of power from Tierra for the next 20 years.
The fate of Wyoming’s energy mix in the next few decades depends a lot on what kind of signals the energy industry receives from either the market and policy-makers. Two experts assembled for the final presentation of the University of Wyoming/Casper College Energy Futures lecture series said how we deal with carbon emissions will have a great deal to do with Wyoming’s energy future.
Greenblatt noted that while wind power could produce impressive amounts of peak energy during strong gusts, the biggest problem was wind power’s intermittency. The problem could be addressed by a process called compressed air energy storage, where excess energy could be used to pump compressed air into underground storage facilities that could include abandoned mines. When the wind was not blowing, he said, the compressed air could be tapped and combined with the burning of natural gas to create high-efficiency electrical generators approximating the efficiency levels of coal-fueled power plants.
A Canadian company's plan to build electrical transmission lines might provide a way for Idaho National Laboratory to sell nuclear power someday, a lab spokesman says. TransCanada's NorthernLights project includes three electrical transmission lines in the Pacific Northwest by 2012, including two that would run through southeastern Idaho. The two high-voltage, direct-current lines — one from Montana, the other from Wyoming — would come together in southeastern Idaho and weave south to Las Vegas. They will carry energy from coal, wind power and other sources.
The man charged with leading power line projects in Wyoming says Montana’s new plan to supply electricity to markets in the Southwest won’t compete with similar plans in Wyoming. In fact, he says, it might even help.
BONE, Idaho -- Forty-three wind turbines, each as tall as a 20-story building, rise from the rolling hills around Bone and stretch for nearly six miles across southeastern Idaho. Steve Rhodes, whose family has ranched and farmed here for four generations, admits that the windmills "took some getting used to."
GILLETTE -- Wyoming officials watched with interest as California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday signed into law a sweeping global warming initiative that imposes the nation's first cap on greenhouse gas emissions. When the idea for such a bill was recommended about a year ago, Wyoming energy officials reacted strongly against it -- and even sent a letter to Schwarzenegger's office suggesting it may violate interstate commerce laws. Called for reaction on Wednesday, Gov. Dave Freudenthal's energy adviser, Rob Hurless, said he wasn't prepared to discuss interstate commerce concerns, but said the California law definitely is not a threat to Wyoming's ambitions to export more electricity.
At the halfway point between the West Coast energy crisis of 2001 and the next major electricity contract renewal year of 2011, a federal power marketing agency is proposing a policy change that could affect rates in the Pacific Northwest for generations and become a national model for energy development. Northwest hydropower is one of the cheapest energy resources in the nation - about half the current market rate for electricity. The Bonneville Power Administration - which sells power in all of Washington, Oregon and Idaho and parts of California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Montana - announced this summer it wants to change the way it charges utilities for its wholesale power, to keep rates low.
But Manchin's proposal went a step beyond talk and ideas, setting out a concrete way to begin attracting more money to development of ethanol, biodiesel, solar, wind or biomass electricity generation. “I've always been told the $35, $40 range (per barrel of oil) is where alternative fuels become viable” Manchin told The News-Record after a tour of Arch Coal's Black Thunder mine. “Let's find that benchmark ... I don't see another way.”
LOS ANGELES The Los Angeles City Council has signed off on a 16-year contract to buy energy from a wind farm in Wyoming.
WASHINGTON -- Federal officials vowed this week to boost renewable energy production on federal lands in the West, but wind and geothermal industry officials criticized the administration for a lack of openness and support leading to delays in some of their projects.
RAWLINS -- An Oregon company is proposing to install up to 125 wind turbines on private land northwest of Medicine Bow.
Energy corridors should enhance markets for both fossil-based energy as well as wind and other renewables, as the federal government prepares for a wave of electrical transmission and pipeline construction across the West.
Natrona County commissioners, on a 2-2 tie, on Wednesday defeated a request by Chevron-Texaco to erect three wind-data monitoring towers with the concern that the company eventually wants to erect as many as 20 240-foot tall turbines. This is not the proper place for this," commissioner Kathleen Dixon said before casting her "no" vote. "I will not let the nose of the camel into the tent."
Wyoming energy officials hope a proposed contract for the city of Los Angeles to buy 82 megawatts of Wyoming wind power represents a trend across the West.