wind

Stephanie Joyce

Wind power is a growing part of the energy mix in the United States. And along with that growth, there are new job opportunities for people to install and repair the 30-story-tall wind turbines. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, a unique skill set is required -- the fearlessness of a pro rock climber along with the know-how of a skilled mechanic.

Leigh Paterson

Four companies, including Wyoming-based Pathfinder Wind Energy, announced an eight billion dollar project this week that would eventually send Wyoming wind power to California. If built, the wind farm would be one of the largest in the country. 

Leigh Paterson

Wyoming has some of the most powerful wind in the country. So, earlier this month, a massive wind farm got the green light from the state. If the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project gets federal approval, it will become the largest in the country. But who’s buying all that wind power? Right now there is no way to get it out of Wyoming, to the other states that really need it. For Inside Energy, Leigh Paterson reports on why transmission gridlocks are keeping Wyoming wind at bay.

The state Industrial Siting Commission gave the Power Company of Wyoming its blessing Wednesday to move ahead with plans to build the largest on-shore wind farm in the United States.

A thousand wind turbines would be erected in Carbon County if the Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farm is built, covering about 2,000 acres of private and public lands. The turbines would produce enough power for a million homes.

But Kara Choquette, with the Power Company of Wyoming, said none of that power will be used in the state.

A new study says energy generated from Wyoming wind could help California residents save up to one billion dollars annually in electricity costs. California’s renewable portfolio standard – or RPS – requires the state to get 33-percent of its energy from renewables by 2020. The Wyoming Infrastructure Authority commissioned the economic analysis.

According to a new report, Wyoming voters are more likely to vote for candidates who support using public lands for more than just oil and gas development.

Julianne Couch is the author of Traveling the Power Line, a book about the many energy sources we tap into for our power needs – from oil and gas, to wind, to solar and uranium.

Couch teaches at the University of Wyoming and has also written Jukeboxes and Jackalopes: A Wyoming Bar Journey and Waking Up Western: Collected Essays. She now lives in Iowa but stopped by the studio to talk to Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov about her book.

The Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming is taking public comments on a long awaited 725 mile long transmission project.  The Trans West Express transmission project was started in 2008 and is intended to take renewable energy from south central Wyoming to Nevada.  Wyoming B-L-M Spokeswoman Beverly Gorney says they’ve had to consider a number of environmental and other issues in the draft environmental impact statement.

Three people accused of defrauding investors of more than $4 million by falsely claiming to be developing wind farms in Wyoming and South Dakota are set to stand trial in June.


U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl of Casper has scheduled a three-week trial starting June 3.
 

Defendants Robert Arthur Reed and Lauren Elizabeth Scott of Utah and Gregory Lee Doss of California are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money. Reed faces additional charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
 

A University of Wyoming wind study shows that combining the wind resources of Wyoming and Colorado would benefit the Colorado energy grid. 

U-W Wind Energy Research Center Director Jonathan Naughton said that’s because wind in Colorado and Wyoming blows differently.  He said that if the resources are combined, it would make wind power more consistent.            

“It easier to integrate into the grid, saves in money that you don’t have to use for purchasing backup power that would likely come from gas turbine engines fired by natural gas.” 

mywindpowersystem.com

A group of University of Wyoming researchers received $508,000 from NASA to study aerodynamics and wind resistance at Wyoming’s Supercomputing Center.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that Wyoming has one of the highest capacities for wind power production in the country. But University of Wyoming Mathematics Professor Stefan Heinz says most wind farms aren’t arranged as efficiently as they could be. He says the wake of one turbine often disrupts the turbines around it, reducing efficiency.

Some in the wind energy industry have expressed concern that the wind production tax credit might expire at the end of the year. 

U.S. Senator John Barrasso says he shares that concern and blames the on-again, off-again nature of such tax credits on the lack of a federal energy policy. 

Gov. Matt Mead says he's continuing to push to try to change how Wyoming taxes wind energy projects despite a chilly reception to his proposals from some state legislators so far.

Wyoming's sales and use tax exemption on equipment used on wind energy projects expires in January 2012. The state will also begin imposing a $1 per megawatt hour tax on wind energy production starting then.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is giving the public additional time to weigh in on a proposed wind power project near Rock Springs.

The BLM also is holding a public meeting on the Quaking Aspen wind project. That meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at the Holiday Inn in Rock Springs.

The BLM announced Tuesday that a public comment period originally set to end Wednesday is now being extended until Dec. 27.

Evergreen Wind Power Partners proposes to put up to 100 wind turbines in an area 11 miles southeast of Rock Springs.