Library from Wyoming
Duke Energy Renewables Inc., a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corp., based in Charlotte, N.C., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Wyoming today to violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) in connection with the deaths of protected birds, including golden eagles, at two of the company’s wind projects in Wyoming. This case represents the first ever criminal enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for unpermitted avian takings at wind projects.
Wasatch saw its financial partner, Edison Mission Energy, file for bankruptcy last year. The Wyoming Industrial Siting Council subsequently gave the company until May 2014 to secure a financial partner ...Wasatch’s troubles were compounded further when its power purchase deal with utility Rocky Mountain Power expired.
“Seventy-three percent of those places with good potential for wind energy development have high overlap with important migration areas,” Pocewicz says. Wind energy’s impact on bird populations, particularly migratory birds, has been a controversial subject as wind power has grown nationwide. There’s no recent data on how many birds are killed in Wyoming every year by turbines, but nationally, estimates are in the hundreds of thousands.
What needs to happen first, however, is the infrastructure of the site, said Kara Choquette, director of Communications for Power Company of Wyoming, the company behind the project. Without roads and a rail facility to transport parts and labor, there can be no wind farm, Choquette said.
Earlier in 2013, Wyoming Wind & Power LLC (WW&P) submitted an application to the Wyoming Industrial Siting Council seeking approval to construct and operate a 900 megawatt (300 turbine) facility in Platte, Goshen, Converse and Laramie counties. WW&P has canceled the project citing various reasons. A portion of the letter submitted to the Siting Council is provided below. The full letter can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
A man who solicited investors nationwide for a wind farm in Wyoming was sentenced to 12 years in prison for defrauding 83 investors, many of them elderly, of more than $4.4 million by promoting investment in nonexistent wind farms.
A Utah man faces sentencing Tuesday for his role in a scheme that defrauded investors across the country of $4.3 million by promoting non-existent wind farm projects in Wyoming and South Dakota. Robert Arthur Reed, of Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty in May to federal charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money.
SWEETWATER COUNTY ZONING RESOLUTION SECTION 18 - WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEMS
Commission chairman Wally Johnson said that the new regulations will have a long-lasting impact and effect on Sweetwater County. He says the county took its time to get the regulations right because once wind farms are built they are there forever.
BLM's preferred alternative would take the line across the agency-managed Sunrise Mountain Instant Study Area east of Las Vegas. The 10,240-acre ISA is a popular hiking destination and includes Gypsum Cave, which BLM says holds some of the earliest evidence of human inhabitance in the western United States. Running the line though Sunrise Mountain "may entail congressional legislation modifying the designation," according to the draft EIS.
At a permit hearing on July 18, 2011, members of the Industrial Siting Council told the company that Edison Mission financing wasn't enough, Esch said. The council wanted to see additional sources of money. The council gave the company two years to show it had additional resources to fund the project. That deadline - July 18 - is approaching, and the company asked for a new deadline of May 2014.
Companies with projects and interest in Wyoming are slowly developing their projects, eyes on the day when they'll be able to transmit their product to customers in other states. But those projects, for the most part, are years from completion. Some may be a decade away from full service.
Robert Arthur Reed, of Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty in federal court in Casper to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money. Four other co-defendants have entered earlier guilty pleas. ...An indictment alleges that they hired phone solicitors to make cold calls to investors, urging them to invest in wind farms by falsely claiming they were being constructed jointly by private investors and the U.S. government.
Under the existing permit, the company has to prove it can fund all aspects of the project by July. An extension would give the company until May 2014 to do so. Edison Mission Energy, a financial partner on the project, filed for bankruptcy in December.
Specifically, the company is asking for a 10-month extension of the July 18, 2013, deadline to meet Special Condition #19 requiring the company to provide evidence of sufficient financial resources to construct, maintain, operate, decommission and reclaim the facility. ...The Industrial Siting Council will meet at 10 a.m. on Monday June 24, 2013, to consider the company's request for the extension.
The county first passed a moratorium to give staff time to draw up wind farm regulations, a requirement to fall in line with state laws. But the county’s rules are as of yet unfinished, and the moratorium was set to expire in late June.
The indictment alleges they hired phone solicitors to make cold calls to investors, telling them that the wind farms were being constructed jointly by private investors and the U.S. government. The indictment lists victims only by their initials, stating that many of them mailed in checks for $25,000 or more. Prosecutors have declined to identify victims.
PCW originally planned to file the application on Jan. 21, but decided to wait to apply to see what would happen with Senate File 49, which, if passed, would have required projects requesting a permit from the ISC to spend 25 percent of anticipated project funds during the first two years of the project.
The $1-per-megawatt-hour tax, signed into law in 2010, raised about $1.6 million for six counties in the central and southeast part of the state in its first year of implementation. Converse County received about $600,000 of that total. An additional $1 million went into state coffers.
The new agreement, among other things, means the project will pay $820,000 less in taxes to districts in Converse County. The county's treasurer, Joel Schell, said that the county proper can bounce back from its share of the loss - about $125,000 - but other tax districts will have a harder time.