Vast Wyoming wind project gets preliminary Interior approval

The proposed Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Farm in Wyoming has passed environmental muster with the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar released the final the environmental impact statement for the project on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The 3,000-MW of power, making it the largest wind farm facility in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world.

“When it comes to wind energy, we’re making significant progress both onshore and offshore to diversify our nation’s domestic energy portfolio and stand up a clean energy economy,” Salazar said in a July 2 news release.

The Wyoming site would contain up to 1,000 turbines and generate enough power for up to 1 million American homes. The project would be built on public, private and state land in Carbon County, Wyo. The BLM is reviewing the proposed wind project, as well as a proposed amendment to the Rawlins Resource Management Plan to accommodate the facility.

“Wyoming has incredible wind resources and this proposed wind energy project has potential to generate jobs and bring a record amount of clean power to market throughout the West,” said Acting BLM Director Mike Pool. “We look forward to hearing from the public as we work to ensure that this proposal, if approved, would be built in the right way and in the right place to minimize environmental impacts.”

The proposed wind energy project is under consideration as part of Interior’s initiative to advance smart development of renewable energy on public lands. Since 2009, Interior has approved 31 utility-scale wind, solar, and geothermal projects that, if built by the companies, will provide approximately 7,200 MW of power to communities across the West.