United States

United States

Wyoming project progress, foote Creek 68 MW

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County officials in Wyoming have approved a special use permit for a 68 MW wind farm to be developed by California wind company SeaWest. The Carbon County project was formerly to have been built by Kenetech Windpower, which sought bankruptcy protection just over a year ago. The site, at Foote Creek Rim, is also on state and on US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. There has been an approximately one-year hiatus on the development because of the company change-over.

The BLM is expected to make a decision on its portion of the site plan by July 15. A report comparing the Kenetech proposal with that of SeaWest is almost complete. The turbines would be larger than those of Kenetech, up to 1.5 MW, and painted a special colour to help deter birds. Electric lines would also be buried and turbines would be kept away from the edges of Foote Creek Rim to help reduce birds deaths by about half of the number that was expected for the Kenetech project.

Preliminary construction of this first 68 MW, $60 million phase is scheduled to go ahead in August. The plant would be on-line by the end of 1998 to take advantage of the federal tax credits, which expire in June of the next year. Ultimately, though, the project could be expanded to 900 turbines and an installed capacity of 500 MW, SeaWest officials told the Denver Post last month.

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