Feds Release EA On Chokecherry And Sierra Madre

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The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released an environmental assessment (EA) analyzing an additional 396 wind turbines as part of the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project, located in Carbon County, Wyo.

The EA examines site-specific impacts of the additional turbines on mixed-ownership land south of Rawlins, Wyo., representing the second phase of turbine development in the project area.

The 3 GW project was originally analyzed in an environmental impact statement completed in 2012. The BLM also completed EAs for the project’s infrastructure in 2014 and for the first 500 turbines (totaling 1.5 GW) in 2017.

“This project is a great example of the importance of partnerships between the BLM, the State of Wyoming, our local communities, external groups, cooperating agencies, and the project proponent, Power Company of Wyoming,” says Dennis Carpenter, BLM’s Rawlins field manager. “The project fulfils many of the agency’s priorities, including sustainably developing energy resources, modernizing our infrastructure, increasing revenues and creating jobs in local communities while balancing protections for other resources in the project area.”

The release of the EA begins a 15-day public comment period, which closes on Nov. 4. Comments can be submitted on the project’s ePlanning website at https://go.usa.gov/xVQtD.

Construction on Power Company of Wyoming’s Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project began in September 2016. Since then, contractors have been constructing the access roads, turbine pads and other infrastructure necessary to operate and maintain 3 GW of wind energy capacity, the developer said in July.

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