Library from Wyoming
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.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is decidedly skeptical of proposals to import electricity to meet the state's renewable energy and climate change goals. Furthermore, the Wyoming wind and transmission projects continue to face delays in federal permitting -- even though projects such as these are typically granted priority status. And its developers have not yet lined up utility customers to purchase the power and cover the transmission costs.
The company held its application because of concerns over now-dead legislation which could have affected construction on the project. The bill in question, Senate File 49, would have required companies with large enough projects to spend at least 25 percent of the anticipated cost in the first two years after approval.
Phil Anschutz - who has made money out of everything from a well explosion to a failing railroad - is looking to wager $9 billion on the fierce winds of Wyoming. Anschutz's Power Company of Wyoming is seeking to build the nation's largest wind farm and then ship the power to California over a 725-mile transmission line, the longest to be built in decades.
"While disappointed with the court's ruling, the Northern Laramie Range Alliance believes the outcome is not surprising: As far as we have been able to determine, the ISC has never declined to issue an industrial siting permit in its 40 years of existence," the statement said. The alliance's news release also noted that Edison is in bankruptcy.
The Wyoming Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court’s decision supporting Converse County Commission and state Industrial Siting Board permits for the 100-megawatt Pioneer Wind Park project along Mormon Canyon Road.
You know when the president talks about making wanting to make renewable energy the cheapest form of energy, he's not doing it by actually lowering the cost of renewable energy. He's doing it by raising the cost, through the EPA and other regulations, on some of the more affordable forms of energy.
Miles away, wind turbines sat motionless in the windless night. Their spinning blades can be deadly to bats, bursting capillaries in their lungs before the blades hit their tiny bodies. Three Wyoming bats are particularly susceptible when they migrate from summer to winter ranges. Keinath and Abernethy were looking for bats to tell them which, if any, species called the area home.
Of Wyoming's 15 resident bat species, three of them are most susceptible to the deadly effects of wind turbines: the hoary bat, the silver-haired bat and the eastern red bat. They are Wyoming's only tree-roosting bats, said Douglas Keinath, senior zoologist with the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database.
The Laramie-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance is considering legal action because of its concerns that the Chokecherry Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project would devastate local sage grouse and golden eagle populations. The project, calls for the construction of 1,000 wind turbines on 219,707 acres of land in Carbon County.
The site, which encompasses approximately 2,000 acres of public and private land, will be home to 1,000 wind turbines and produce 2,500 megawatts of electricity. Once completed the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy project will be the largest wind farm in the country.
The Converse County Commission filed an application with the Wyoming State Board of Equalization requesting the board allow Converse County to intervene in Duke Energy's appeal of 2012 taxes due on its wind farm.