January 10, 2020

Commission rejects wind farm applications at first 2020 meeting

By Ellen Fike | Rawlins Times | www.laramieboomerang.com

RAWLINS – The saga of the two planned wind farm projects will continue into the spring, according to Carbon County Planning and Zoning Director Sid Fox.

He said as much on Tuesday morning at the first Carbon County Commissioners’ meeting of 2020, when the board rejected the conditional use permit applications for the Lucky Star and Two Rivers wind farms.

The projects were proposed in September 2018 by BluEarth Renewables, a Canada-based power producer. The two are designed to be built on both private and federal land that straddles the line between Carbon and Albany County.

The combined total for the projects is around $1 billion. Two Rivers is expected to produce 280 MW, while Lucky Star is expected to generate 500 MW.

Two Rivers is slated to break ground in 2021 and will encompass around 20,000 acres of land, with almost 16,000 of that being in Carbon County. Lucky Star is scheduled to break ground in 2020 and is planned to encompass around 79,800 acres, with about 15,800 acres being in the county. It’s not clear what percentage would be on private or federal land.

There wasn’t much discussion as to the reason for the denials at the meeting on Tuesday, but Fox noted that he’d spoken with representatives from BluEarth and encouraged them to apply again in the spring.

“I told them to follow up with the county after this meeting,” he said. “They’ve established a point of contact, so I really think that will help.”

The board has been discussing the permits since at least September, when the members found that the applications for the farms were incomplete, due to BluEarth having not submitted a permitting application with the Bureau of Land Management. However, BluEarth has completed the permit process in Albany County.

Board members raised concerns about needing more information from BLM, as they considered the bureau vital to helping this project get off the ground.

A public hearing for the projects was held in December.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2020/01/10/commission-rejects-wind-farm-applications-at-first-2020-meeting-2/