A top Interior Department official will be in Wyoming this week to talk about the Obama administration’s push for renewable energy and transmission development on federal lands.
Steve Black, an aide to department head Ken Salazar, will speak at the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority’s annual winter board meeting in Jackson.
“That’s huge, and we’re fortunate to have him agree to come,” said Loyd Drain, executive director of the Infrastructure Authority. “Former Gov. (Dave) Freudenthal has spent a lot of work with the Interior Department and other agencies in Washington to expedite the permitting and siting process for transmission across public lands.”
Drain said it can often take at least five years to get an environmental impact statement for a long transmission line — an important step in the line’s construction.
A number of industry representatives will update the Infrastructure Authority’s board on transmission line projects in the state and recommend steps Gov. Matt Mead can take to support new transmission and generation development.
Analysts from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory will also unveil a study explaining the economic impact to Wyoming of wind energy and natural gas generation development as well as construction of new transmission lines.
Additional topics to be covered include natural gas innovations in the state, transmission line and wind energy studies, and a review of national issues relevant to Wyoming energy.
“There’s a wealth of information that’s going to be talked about,” Drain said.
The board meeting will take place at the Snow King Resort’s New Conference Center from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Infrastructure Authority at 307-635-3573.