Critical federal approvals for massive Wyoming wind project

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Friday, January 20, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The biggest onshore wind development in the works in the U.S. has received two critical federal approvals.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Wednesday approved the 500-turbine first phase of the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind project in southern Wyoming.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved permits allowing some eagles to be killed during the wind farm’s construction and initial operation. The turbines’ spinning blades could kill up to 14 golden eagles and two bald eagles a year before project owner Power Company of Wyoming could face penalties.

Company officials expect the first turbines to go up next year.

Once complete, the wind farm will have as many as 1,000 turbines and generate up to 3,000 megawatts, or enough electricity for nearly 1 million homes.