Articles from Wyoming
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.
A representative from BluEarth Renewables presented City Council with plans for two new wind farms in Albany County that could bring business and jobs to Laramie.
Eagle deaths at a wind farm south of Glenrock are estimated to be low, just five golden eagles and one bald eagle over five years, according to a draft environmental assessment recently released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A persistent frustration from those who oppose wind in Wyoming
According to Martin, project officials anticipate a 2020 Commercial Operation Date (COD); however, this date is still uncertain. In addition, a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process will need to be cemented in order for the project to be approved. Although no turbines will fall on BLM grounds, said Martin, transmission line and road right-of-ways are required.
Director of Science Nature Conservancy in Wyoming, Holly Copeland remarked, “Over a half million birds and about a million bats, a study in 2013 by Smallwood, et al showed. And if you run those numbers out for Wyoming there are about 5000 grassland birds we would be losing every year…there was a paper that showed 20 eagles and in addition to that Duke Energy reported 52 eagles as well.”
Copeland will examine the current and expected status of wind projects in the West, as well as the leading science on their impacts to wildlife species including eagles, bats and songbirds.
One of the major reasons why the Commission didn’t make an approval was that, after pressing Carpio-Delfino on if he obtained permits – including an Eagle Take Permit through the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, as well as an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management (the proposed line runs through some BLM land) – he said he’s only been speaking with these entities. This means nothing has yet been finalized.
RAWLINS — A resolution to determine whether a potential multimillion dollar wind energy project will be built or not has been delayed by the Carbon County Commissioners due to legal statutes.
A long-term study that began this spring will examine the effect of wind energy development on pronghorn.
The proposed wind build-out agreed upon Thursday is comprised of three new wind farms totaling 1,150 megawatts of potential power and a 140-mile high-voltage transmission line across central Wyoming. The company’s plan to upgrade its existing wind farms is being considered separate from Thursday’s approval.
CHEYENNE – If lawmakers in Wyoming are to consider a wind energy tax increase in 2018, it won’t come from the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee.
On Tuesday, the Joint Corporations Committee will discuss reducing the contract period to three years and add language to current statutes ensuring that utilities don’t overpay for the power they are required to buy. Their ultimate goal, they say, is to make sure rate payers in Wyoming are getting the best deal.
The wind industry breathed a sigh of relief Thursday night when the U.S. Senate’s proposed overhaul of the tax system avoided cutting into a subsidy relished by wind developers and utilities. But at the same time, a handful of lawmakers in Wyoming are showing a renewed interest in increasing taxes on wind.
The developers are also focused on keeping the White House engaged in the project. Without the federal government’s backing through WAPA, TransWest Express would lack the use of eminent domain, a major tool that Trump often relied on in his past life as a real estate mogul. It’s the ability to take ownership of private land for public use.
Sen. Cale Case doesn’t dislike wind power, but he believes that putting up wind turbines reduces the beauty of Wyoming’s wide open panorama, its steppes and its sagebrush-coated hills. And the Republican senator from Lander believes wind should be taxed for taking away that view.
A wind turbine that caught fire and sparked a wild fire northeast of Evanston, Wyoming. The turbine is one of the 80 Vestas 1.8 MW turbines (total 144 MW capacity) at the Wyoming Wind Energy Center. The facility is owned and operated by Nextera Energy Resources.
Early construction is ongoing at the site near Rawlins, and needs to continue without pause if the company is to qualify for the federal subsidy. If it qualifies for the tax credit, it would last for up to 10 years, she said. Firms that began construction by last year keep the subsidy for a decade. The Power Company of Wyoming is not confident that the second phase of development, for an additional 500 turbines, will qualify for the tax credit.
Bottom line, staff and the ratepayer groups contend that PGE simply doesn't need another wind farm right now, particularly in the Gorge. Wind farms produce lots of energy, but they are inherently unpredictable, meaning they can't be relied on to fill the capacity ...During the region's recent heat wave. wind farms in the Gorge were often producing little to no electricity.
The Commission had earlier been approached by Aaron Branam, project manager for EDP Renewables of North America LLC, regarding changes to the county’s land use plans pertaining to wind energy regulations. The commissioners were unanimous in their decision to not change the regulations, citing the welfare of the county’s citizens, environmental impacts, and land values as factors in their decisions.