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Black Mountain Wind Park, Wyoming

STATUS: In progress, with opposition

TYPE: Wind

OPPOSITION: Northern Laramie Range Alliance; local residents

PROSPECTS: Indeterminate

BACKGROUND: In April 2009, Wasatch Wind LLC applied for a land lease but withdrew it a month later after people with grazing leases objected. A year later, an application for the project was submitted in the spring of 2010 to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The proposed 4,313-acre project included 3,878 acres of BLM land and some state and private lands, plus an approximately 13-mile feeder transmission line on BLM land.

Landowners in the Northern Laramie Range Alliance began combating a large wave of wind development in Wyoming, including opposition of Wasatch Wind’s plans to build turbines in the area. The alliance is concerned about potential impacts on the “environmental, historic and aesthetic aspects” of the North Laramie Range. “We do not want this part of the county industrialized,” a spokesperson said. “It's not that anybody's opposed to wind.”  The alliance also gathered petition signatures against plans by Wasatch Wind and other potential developers of industrial scale wind farms in the area.

The developer will not need to deal with the controversial matter of sage grouse habitat, which will be addressed soon by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, since it found a site just outside the sage grouse core area. However it does need a conditional use permit from Natrona County to construct the wind farm.  As of August 2010, project development was still in the works.

SOURCES: Casper Star-Tribune http://www.trib.com/articles/2009/05/09/news/energy/doc4a062e8428e62605633140.txt; Glenrock Independent http://www.glenrockind.com/atf.php?sid=1735&current_edition=2009-05-07
Wyoming Tribunal: http://trib.com/news/local/article_d718991c-03c0-5884-926c-f09e0d7db464.html;
Billings Gazette: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/article_70aa4de8-4f1a-5dd9-8c8f-6ec9635f6c73.html;
National Wind Watch: http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2010/08/25/utah-company-proposes-wind-farm-south-of-glenrock/

Last updated December 6, 2010