U.S. targets Wyoming for wind development

Oct. 10, 2012 at 6:44 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Interior Department announced two sites in Wyoming were deemed suitable for major wind energy developments.

The Interior Department's decision authorizes the Bureau of Land Management to move ahead with environmental analyses for the Sierra Madre and Chokecherry wind farms on public land in Wyoming. The decision extends to an internal haul road, rail distribution and electrical substations.

"Wyoming has some of the best wind energy resources in the world and there's no doubt that this project has the potential to be a landmark example for the nation," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.

The sites could include as many 1,000 turbines on more than 200,000 acres of public land. The Interior Department said considerations would be made for sensitive wildlife, ranching and agricultural operations.

The department added that more environmental reviews would be needed to determine the specific layout of the turbines involved in the plans.

Salazar said the Interior Department has authorized more than 30 renewable energy projects since 2009. Once built, the combined clean energy power generation could pass the 10,000 megawatt mark.

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