Wyoming developer pushes back construction start on 3,000-MW wind project

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality said in a May 9 notice that it intends to approve an April 28 request from Power Co. of Wyoming LLC (PCW) for a 2016 construction start on the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project (CCSM Project) in Carbon County, Wyoming.

In September 2014, the Wyoming Industrial Siting Council granted the company a permit for this project. Permit Condition #2 requires PCW to commence construction of the CCSM Project within three years following the date the permit was granted. Permit Condition #6 requires PCW to give the Industrial Siting Division (ISD) written notice when construction commences.

“Pursuant to Permit Condition #6, this letter serves as written notice that PCW intends to commence construction on the CCSM Project by the end of 2016,” said the April 28 letter. “Thus, PCW will also meet Permit Condition #2 which requires commencement of construction within three years from the date the Permit was issued.

“Permit Conditions #11 and #12 require PCW to notify the ISD in advance of proposed changes to the construction schedule and to provide updates to the application. PCW is notifying ISD and requesting approval of changes to the construction schedule as originally set forth in the Application for a Section 109 Permit (Application) submitted to the ISD in May of 2014. As discussed below, the change in the construction schedule from commencing construction in 2014 to commencing construction by the end of 2016 will not result in any significant adverse environmental, social or economic impacts in the area of site influence.”

The current schedule is for a construction start in 2016 and continuing through 2023. “The change to the construction schedule that PCW is requesting moves the start of construction from 2014 to 2016 and slightly reduces the 2016 workforce, but does not otherwise alter the CCSM Project,” said the April 28 letter. “This change does not affect the Council’s finding set out above. Therefore, the requested change does not result in any significant adverse environmental, social, and economic impacts in the area of site influence.”

In other recent news for this project:

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is out for comment until June 27 on a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) covering an application from PCW for eagle take permits (ETPs) under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA). PCW has applied for standard and programmatic ETPs for the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Phase I Wind Energy Project in Carbon County, Wyoming. Phase I is up to 1,500 MW in size, while Phase II would be up to another 1,500 MW.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was taking comment until April 22 on the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Phase I Wind Turbine Development Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Finding of No New Significant Impacts (FONNSI).
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.