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Wind Power News: Wyoming


These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch. They are the products of and owned by the organizations or individuals noted and are shared here according to “fair use” and “fair dealing” provisions of copyright law.

May 24, 2023 • U.S., WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

Criminal cases for killing eagles decline as wind turbine dangers grow

Criminal cases brought by U.S. wildlife officials for killing or harming protected bald and golden eagles dropped sharply in recent years, even as officials ramped up issuing permits that will allow wind energy companies to kill thousands of eagles without legal consequence. The falloff in enforcement of eagle protection laws – which has accelerated under President Joe Biden – was revealed in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service data obtained by The Associated Press. It comes amid growing concern that a proliferation of . . . Complete story »

February 20, 2023 • WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

Number of eagles killed by wind farms in Wyoming severely underestimated, biologist says

As more wind farms are being planned and constructed across southern Wyoming, more people are raising concerns about the impact to wildlife, especially eagles. Mike Lockhart, a wildlife biologist specializing in eagles who worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 30 years, told Cowboy State Daily the impacts to eagle populations from Wyoming’s wind farms is being underreported and downplayed. The projects now in development include the Boswell Springs Wind Project, the Two Rivers Wind Project, . . . Complete story »

January 11, 2023 • WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

County commissioners discuss wind energy taxes

The tug-of-war between counties in Wyoming that are home to wind turbines, the State Department of Revenue and independent energy producers over ad valorem taxes is back before the Legislature. Counties appear to have the power to win the fight. At stake is the amount of ad valorem taxes wind energy producers say they’ll contribute to a county’s tax base when they’re seeking permits and other concessions versus what they actually pay over a project’s lifetime. Carbon County Commissioner John . . . Complete story »

October 17, 2022 • WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

Push for wind energy in the West threatens golden eagles

The rush to build wind farms to combat climate change is colliding with preservation of one of the U.S. West’s most spectacular predators – the golden eagle – as the species teeters on the edge of decline. Ground zero in the conflict is Wyoming, a stronghold for golden eagles that soar on 7-foot wings and a favored location for wind farms. As wind turbines proliferate, scientists say deaths from collisions could drive down golden eagle numbers considered stable at best. Yet climate . . . Complete story »

September 29, 2022 • WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

Commissioners to submit comments to FAA over ‘too tall’ wind tower

The Carbon County Commissioners will submit comments to the Federal Aviation Administration regarding a too tall wind tower east of Medicine Bow that is part of the Boswell Springs project. Commissioner Sue Jones brought the matter up at the board’s meeting last week, saying that the FAA had reached out for comment over the tower. The 170-turbine project is located on a roughly 21,600-acre parcel of land east of Medicine Bow and 10 miles north of Rock River, near the . . . Complete story »

August 17, 2022 • U.S., WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

Wind energy boom and golden eagles collide in the US West

Federal officials won’t divulge how many eagles are reported killed by wind farms, saying it’s sensitive law enforcement information. The recent criminal prosecution of a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, one of the largest U.S. renewable energy providers, offered a glimpse into the problem’s scope. The company pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and was ordered to pay more than $8 million in fines and restitution after killing at least 150 eagles — including more than 100 goldens at wind farms in Wyoming, California, New Mexico, North Dakota, Colorado, Michigan, Arizona and Illinois. Complete story »

August 11, 2022 • WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

Biologist: Wind development outpaces slow work of tracking eagles

SHIRLEY BASIN—Mike Lockhart has been patrolling this vast sagebrush sea for hours, driving county roads and stopping at vantage points to glass for raptors as they ride aloft early afternoon thermals. The abundance of white-tailed prairie dogs and their pups provides easy pickin’s for the golden eagles, turkey vultures, ferruginous hawks and other raptors that flourish here along with pronghorn, black-footed ferrets, greater sage grouse and swift fox. That’s good for the raptors, Lockhart said, but not so good for . . . Complete story »

July 29, 2022 • WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

Plugging in: WAPA approves power connection for wind farm

After three years of evaluation, the Western Area Power Administration has approved a request to connect the Rail Tie Wind Project with its transmission system. The decision marks one of the many permissions required for ConnectGen to move forward with building the wind farm, which will be located near Tie Siding off Highway 287. Slated to begin operations in 2023, the $500 million project will generate 504 megawatts of energy, according to the ConnectGen website. It’s estimated to create $130 . . . Complete story »

June 11, 2022 • WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

Wind energy faces bird-kill and other habitat challenges

Collisions with rotating wind turbine blades kill a variety of birds in Wyoming – from passerines to raptors. Exactly how many birds – and whether mortality rates might pose a threat to local and migrating bird populations – remains unknown, according to state and federal wildlife officials. The overlap of strong, steady winds and prime wildlife habitat – such as for the greater sage grouse – also poses threats, unless wind energy facilities are located to avoid impacts to critical wintering, breeding and nesting areas. . . . Complete story »

June 1, 2022 • WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

Greenlit powerlines portend Wyoming wind energy boom

Having recently cleared key legal and permitting hurdles, developers are slated to begin construction of two major high-voltage transmission lines connecting Wyoming to several states in the West. When completed, the Gateway South and TransWest Express transmission lines will open the door to a major expansion of wind energy development in the Cowboy State, industry officials say. “The TransWest Express project opens the ability for Wyoming wholesale electricity supplies to reach new markets, like southern California, Arizona and Nevada, that . . . Complete story »

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