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BLM Advances North America's Largest Wind Farm in Wyoming

The Bureau of Land Management has advanced plans to build the largest wind farm in North America in southern Wyoming. (Pixabay)
The Bureau of Land Management has advanced plans to build the largest wind farm in North America in southern Wyoming. (Pixabay)
March 17, 2016

CHEYENNE, Wy. - Wyoming is closer to launching North America's largest wind farm. The Bureau of Land Management recently gave a thumbs up on the project's environmental impact plans.

According to BLM spokesperson Brad Purdy, the project would generate enough energy to power almost a million homes and create up to a thousand new jobs.

"This is important for folks because it is the largest onshore wind energy project in America," says Purdy. "It's happening right here in southeastern Wyoming, and I think it's going to be a great project for everyone."

The agency's Environmental Assessment examines the impacts of constructing 500 wind turbines in the first phase of the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project.

The project, which will be developed and operated by the Power Company of Wyoming LLC, calls for installing a total of 1,000 turbines on more than 200,000 acres of public and private lands in Carbon County.

Purdy says developers have agreed to work with the BLM to protect wildlife including eagles, and the project will be designed to keep critical sage-grouse habitat intact.

He says the assessment also makes accommodations for ongoing ranching and farming in the area.

Purdy says construction could begin as early as late summer.

"The BLM, we're committed to responsibly developing renewable energy on the nation's public lands," Purdy says. "And for this project I think it was a great cooperation with state, local, industry officials with lots of environmental reviews."

The BLM plans to hold two open houses for public input on the assessment on March 28 in Saratoga, and on March 29 in Rawlins. The agency also is accepting written comments through April 8 of this year.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - WY