A proposed two-year extension of Wyoming’s moratorium on wind developers’ eminent domain powers passed another legislative hurdle Wednesday.
By a voice vote, state senators passed House Bill 230 on first reading. If left unchanged, the legislation must pass two more Senate votes before heading to Gov. Matt Mead for his signature.
Supporters of the bill say that allowing the current one-year moratorium to expire on July 1 would raise landowners’ wariness of eminent domain when dealing with wind developers on land leases to build collector lines.
But other lawmakers have questioned why the state should prohibit wind developers from using eminent domain when other industries are still allowed to employ such powers.
Wind developers have said that it’s extremely unlikely that any collector lines will be built in the next two years anyway because of a lack of transmission lines to carry the electricity to markets on the West Coast.