The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office in Wyoming has set a new date for the close of the scoping period for an infrastructure component environmental assessment (EA) for the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project (CCSM).
The BLM initially scheduled 30 days for comment, and the original date for the close of the scoping period was Oct. 9, during the federal government shutdown. Due to the lapse in appropriations and the resulting government shutdown, the documents were not available on the BLM website in the Oct. 1-9 period. So, the new date for the close of the scoping period for the CCSM infrastructure component EA is Nov. 4.
The CCSM Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision amended the Rawlins Resource Management Plan to allow for wind development, but did not identify individual turbine locations. Subsequent tiered EAs will be needed to analyze site-specific issues.
The first to be analyzed will be an infrastructure component EA which includes the Haul Road, West Sinclair Rail Facility and Road Rock Quarry. Future EAs include analyses of phase 1-development of approximately 500 turbines in the western portion of the project area and phase 2-development of the remaining roughly 500 turbines in the eastern portion of the project area.
The proposed CCSM project consists of two wind farm sites encompassing 1,000 turbines on more than 227,638 acres of mixed public and private land located about 10 miles south of Rawlins, Wyo., in Carbon County. It is estimated that each wind turbine would generate 1.5 MW to 3 MW, with a total capacity of 2,000 to 3,000 MW.
Access roads, underground electric gathering lines, an overhead transmission line and substations to interconnect the generated power to the electric grid are included in the proposal. It is anticipated construction will take four to five years with an estimated project life of 30 years.
The company proposing these projects is Power Co. of Wyoming LLC, a wholly owned affiliate of The Anschutz Corp.