Despite rising popularity and growing market share, renewables still face delays. A massive wind farm project proposed for Wyoming has been in the works for over 10 years.
On Oct. 21, Chokecherry and Sierra Madre project took another step toward approval when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released an Environmental Assessment (EA) for public comment. The draft states the BLM found no new significant impacts caused by a second phase of 396 additional turbines.
The 15-day public comment period is open through Nov. 4. Comments can be submitted on the project’s ePlanning website at https://go.usa.gov/xVQtD.
The EA is the third and final BLM analysis needed for the project, according to Utility Dive.
The proposed project by the Power Company of Wyoming will total 3,000 MW of capacity generated, split evenly between the two phases, by up to 1,000 turbines. It is expected to be the largest wind farm in the United States once it is completed.
The giant farm has been in the works for over a decade. After first applying for state and federal permits in 2008, it was originally analyzed in an Environmental Impact Statement completed by the BLM in 2012. The agency also completed EAs for the project’s infrastructure in 2014 and for the first 500 turbines in 2017.
“The project fulfills many of the agency’s priorities, including sustainably developing energy resources, modernizing our infrastructure, increasing revenues and creating jobs in local communities while balancing protections for other resources in the project area,” said Dennis Carpenter, BLM Rawlins field manager.
Once completed, the project will exceed the 1,550 MW Atlanta Wind Energy Center in California, which is currently the largest in the United States, according to Utility Dive.