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Wind power in Wyoming


Wind power in Wyoming

Wind resource map at 50m above ground

Wyoming has one of the highest wind power potentials of any United States (U.S.) state. Wyoming's geography of high-altitude prairies and broad ridges makes the state an ideal site for the development of wind resources. Other factors that positively affect Wyoming's wind power development potential are the high percentage of land owned by the federal government, the low population density, and the historical importance of the mining and energy sectors to the state's economy. A chief disadvantage to large-scale wind power production in the state are Wyoming's relative distance from major population centers, and the lack of transmission capacity.

At the end of 2013 Wyoming had the highest per capita wind power capacity.

Wyoming's first wind farm was the Foote Creek Rim wind project located near Arlington. This 85 MW wind farm, completed in 1999, is in one of the windiest locations in the state, and due to average winds of 25 mph it has a capacity factor of 43% of peak output annually, which is higher than most wind farms.[1] In 2008 the state's largest wind farm was the 144 MW Wyoming Wind Energy Center, located in Uinta County, near Evanston.[2]

Wyoming Wind Generation Capacity by Year
Megawatts of Installed Generating Capacity
since 2001[3]

In November 2008, the New York Times reported a land rush in Wyoming in anticipation of future wind power development projects. Citizens and land-owners in Wyoming have formed numerous "wind associations" in the hopes of collectively bargaining for higher compensation for the use of their land in wind power production and transmission projects.[4] Most of these associations are located in the wind-power dense counties of southeastern Wyoming, including Platte, Converse, Goshen and Laramie counties.

The Chokecherry/ Sierra Madre Wind Project comprises the largest commercial wind generation facility proposed in North America. Power Company of Wyoming has applied to the BLM to build approximately 1,000 wind turbines in an area located south of Rawlins, Wyoming, in Carbon County. The project is proposed to generate 2,000 to 3,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity and construction may take 3–4 years with a project life estimate of 30 years.[5]

The White Mountain Wind Energy Project is a proposed 360 MW wind farm which would result in the construction of up to 240 turbines on White Mountain just northwest of Rock Springs.[6]

Energy Transportation Inc., headquartered in Casper, is a well known logistics firm that transports overweight and outsized components used in the wind power industry.[7]

Wind generation

Wyoming Wind Generation in 2011
Wyoming Wind Generation (GWh, Million kWh)
Year Total Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2009 2,226 205 182 239 149 151 142 108 106 129 252 263 373
2010 3,247 281 214 243 306 265 211 197 191 204 316 429 410
2011 4,612 546 468 493 442 372 290 214 223 203 375 511 476
2012 4,369 632 357 503 347 304 294 174 201 184 399 481 493



  1. ^ Foote Creek Rim retrieved 26 February 2009
  2. ^ Wyoming Wind Energy Center retrieved 26 February 2009
  3. ^ "Wind Powering America: Installed U.S. Wind Capacity and Wind Project Locations". U.S. Department of Energy. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Barringer, F. "A Land Rush in Wyoming Spurred by Wind." New York Times. 27 Nov 2008.
  5. ^ Bureau of Land Management (2011-07-22). "Chokecherry/Sierra Madre Wind Energy Comment Period Opens". 
  6. ^ Bureau of Land Management (November 22, 2011). "2012 Renewable Energy Priority Projects". 
  7. ^ Transporting wind turbine components
  8. ^  
  9. ^  
  10. ^ EIA. "Electricity data browser - 1.17". United States Department of Energy. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 

External links

  • Map of wind associations in southern Wyoming
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