Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Wyoming
The proposed wind farm was also a major topic discussed by the Sweetwater County Commissioners Tuesday morning. During a presentation from the Wyoming Industrial Siting Council, Tom Schroeder, program principal for the ISC, said the White Mountain wind farm was one of the projects the council expected to see a permit application from. Schroeder said the wind farm would be built in phases and said a wind farm the size of the proposed project would be 12,000-15,000 acres. The project was originally permitted to be built on land owned by the Rock Springs Grazing Association. However, with the proposed 200 additional wind generators, land owned by the Bureau of Land Management will also need to be utilized.
BP Alternative Energy will begin to seek permits from the state later this month into early June for a wind turbine facility it hopes to have in operation in the southern part of Wyoming County by the end of 2009. ...Despite the public outreach on Thursday by BP, some people who attended the open house remained skeptical about the project, such as Carl Crispell, who owns 178 acres on South Mountain. He said that he has a hunting cabin on the mountain and is working with BP to lease his land for turbines. Asked why he will be leasing his land despite his skepticism, Crispell said he feels he doesn't have much of a choice because the turbines "will be all around us anyway."
Wyoming's largest electrical utility last week received a state Industrial Siting Council permit for a planned wind farm in Carbon County, but not before the council heard some serious concerns about the impacts of the construction project. Approval of the Seven Mile Hill wind project, located between Medicine Bow and Hanna, included a late filing by PacifiCorp Energy to expand the project from 66 turbines to 79. Although no one was opposed to the project during last week's council hearing, several local officials expressed concern about the adequacy of PacifiCorp's plans for housing workers, provision of emergency services during construction, and disposal of trash generated by the project. Also of concern were road access to the project and drive times to the site.
So the department and County Attorney Eric Nelson proposed amending the zoning rules to allow Boname and the Theriaults to proceed, and then place a moratorium on other wind power applications until the county made comprehensive changes to regarding wind power. Campbell and commissioner Barb Peryam didn't like the idea of a moratorium, even though they and the other commissioners praised the advent of residential wind power. With Campbell dissenting, the commissioners voted to change the wording in the regulations after the applicants and others spoke during a public hearing. ...However, some neighbors complained to the county that the 4-inch-diameter tower with 20 guy wires interfered with their views and posed a hazard to wildlife.
Kirkbride has five concerns for his county. Those include continuity, so developers can know what rules apply across county lines. He wants to make sure wind farms go up in the right places, not just the least-regulated areas. Second, he's concerned about how opposition to wind farm proposals will be handled. Roads are another area of concern. Like many small counties operating on limited budgets, Platte County is faced with more than 700 miles of roads to maintain. Wind development brings heavy traffic that damages those routes, yet financial benefits from the resource is typically several years out, Kirkbride said. ...He advised developing a screening process for wind projects and funding research to fill data gaps when effects are unknown. "Let's think this out," Lathrop urged. "Let's do it smart, let's do it right."
The high winds that are part of life in southeast Wyoming make it a prime target for the development of systems to turn the gusts into a usable source of electricity. To prepare for the expected influx of towers and turbines that may dot the landscape, Laramie County is creating rules to monitor the future installation, operation and potential abandonment of wind energy systems. County officials say the proposed regulations are designed to ensure the orderly development of the systems. They also seek to protect public infrastructure and the quality of life for residents while encouraging the growth of this alternative energy source for personal and commercial uses. "We do want to make sure they're safe (wind energy systems), and we do want to make sure you don't cause trouble for your neighbors. But that's it," county planning director Gary Kranse said.
A Utah-based engineering company hopes to tap into some of that endless, yet unrealized wind energy resource on top of White Mountain west of Rock Springs, according to county officials. Tasco Engineering Inc. is seeking a conditional use permit for a 36-turbine operation on private lands between Rock Springs and Green River in Sweetwater County. The proposed site lies near the scenic landmark called Pilot Butte and near the recently completed Wild Horse Loop Tour along the rim of White Mountain.
Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power, both part of PacifiCorp, are planning to build a new wind energy facility in Wyoming. The Seven Mile Hill Wind Energy Development Project, located near Rawlins, will consist of 66 wind turbines with a generating capacity of 99 megawatts. It's the second wind project announced by PacifiCorp within the month. Earlier this month, the company announced plans to build a 99-megawatt wind facility at the site of a reclaimed surface coal mine near Glenrock, WY. The Seven Mile Hill project is scheduled to be completed in October 2008, the companies said Tuesday. PacifiCorp is a unit of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., which is controlled by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Other proposed changes include special provisions regarding wind turbines and junk and trash piles.
GLENROCK - Rocky Mountain Power officials hope to gauge the public's response to a proposed 66-turbine wind farm the company is proposing at the old Dave Johnston coal mine about 12 miles north of town. The company holds an open house meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. today at Glenrock Middle School to explain the project, answer questions and take comments.
For the second time in less than a month, Rocky Mountain Power has announced a new wind farm in Wyoming. The Seven Mile Hill wind energy project in eastern Carbon County will consist of 66 wind turbines with a total generating capacity of 99 megawatts of electricity. Rocky Mountain Power will hold a public open house at 7 p.m. today at The Depot in Rawlins to discuss the project. "This facility is part of a comprehensive strategy to achieve a more balanced mix of resources used to generate electricity," Rocky Mountain Power President Richard Walje said in prepared statement.
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.
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.
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.
Wind farms, wind parks or wind conversion -- no matter what it's called, Sweetwater County has to learn how to deal with it.
“The county has to have something to stand on. A wind farm on White Mountain is going to be a very controversial issue,” he said