A draft environmental impact statement is expected to be released this autumn on a proposal for a $65 million Kenetech Windpower project in Carbon County, Wyoming. Kenetech is asking the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for permission to install a total of 1300 turbines for a 500 MW project on a 97 square mile site. The wind company already has an agreement with PacifiCorp of Portland, Oregon for the first phase of the project, 70.5 MW. Construction of this phase would begin in spring 1995, with the rest installed over 10-12 years. Walt George, BLM project manager in Rawlins, says the potential impact of wind turbines on raptors is one of the main environmental issues. Because of the project's possible impact, federal and state biologists are studying the issue in California and Europe, he says. Also at issue are the impact on big game, prairie dogs and an experimental black-footed ferret population, as well as archaeological and visual considerations.
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