Friday, October 12, 2012

Proposed monster wind farm in Wyoming, which could power 1 million homes, gets federal approval

Potentially the largest wind farm in the U.S. was approved this week. Wyoming's Chokeberry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project could eventually provide electricity to 1 million homes, said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, when as many as 1,000 turbines are up and running. The project is set to begin groundwork next year. The Associated Press reports that turbines could go up over a three-year period within an area covering 350 square miles south of Rawlins in south-central Wyoming. Most of that area is overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. (Photo: Site of the future wind farm)

The officials in Carbon County, where the project is based, conditionally approved the wind farm after hearing public comment. The matter now goes to a state board for review, Jeremy Fugleberg of the Casper Star-Tribune reports. Commissioner Leo Chapman credited the developer, a subsidiary of Denver-based Anschutz Corp., for its work to study the birds at risk in the project area and its willingness to answer any questions thrown its way for the unanimous approval by the council and for the community's mostly favorable feeling toward the project. Chapman said such work and openness -- "things sometimes not shown by other wind project developers in the county --  helped the commissioners to approve the project." See also The Wyoming News report, here.


KM said...

Salazar should make it clearer that although the output of this 3-gigawatt facility will average the average energy use of 1 million homes (ignoring the fact that more electricity is used by businesses and municipalities than homes), it will actually provide that much energy only 40% of the time. Of course, if he said that, it would be obvious how ridiculous it is to spend $1.5 billion (and industrialize 35 square miles) for an energy source that doesn't even work most of the time.

KM said...

Sorry: typos: That's $4.5 billion and 350 square miles.