United States

United States

White House pushes permitting on 5GW pipeline

UNITED STATES: The US government has announced plans to fast-track around 5GW of renewable energy projects including the 3GW Chokecherry wind farm in Wyoming.

The government said the permitting process for the developments would be speeded up under the Office of Management and Budget. The announcement concerns projects on federal land in states including Nevada, California and Arizona.

In addition to Chokecherry, the wind projects include BP's 450MW Mojave wind farm in Arizona. The statement said additional projects would be announced in the coming weeks.

The initiative is part of the government's 'We can't wait' programme to push renewable energy projects that was announced in March.

The latest announcement has charged the Office of Management and Budget with making "the permitting and review process for infrastructure projects more efficient and effective, saving time while driving better outcomes for the environment and local communities".

It comes after last week's announcement that the US Senate Finance Committee had passed a one-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC) Thursday as part of a $205 billion package renewing dozens of expired and expiring tax breaks. The legislation will be considered by the Senate in September.

In July, interior secretary Ken Salazar announced the publication of the final environmental impact statements for Chokecherry.

The project will comprise 1,000 2.5MW turbines spread across 2,000 acres of a 320,000-acre ranch in Carbon County, Wyoming.

It is being developed by Power Company of Wyoming, which expects the project to cost between $4 and $6 billion and construction to start in 2013 following federal, state and county approval.

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