NewEnergyNews: BILLIONAIRE ENTREPRENEUR WANTS WYO WIND FOR CA

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    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    BILLIONAIRE ENTREPRENEUR WANTS WYO WIND FOR CA

    Big bet on Wyoming wind: Phil Anschutz's latest $9 billion idea

    Mark Jaffe, January 20, 2013 (Denver Post)

    “Phil Anschutz…has made money out of everything from a well explosion to a failing railroad…[and] Anschutz's Power Company of Wyoming is seeking to [wager $9 billlion to] build the nation's largest wind farm…[The Sierra Madre and Chokecherry Wind Project…would put 1,000 wind turbines on 2,000 acres at a cost of up to $6 billion…The [725-mile] TransWest power line, a $3 billion project, would carry the wind farm's 3,000 megawatts of power across four states to a point south of Las Vegas, where it could connect with the California power grid]…

    “California is the West's biggest renewable-energy market and a vital one for the project...[but] Gov. Jerry Brown has voiced a strong preference for in-state renewable-energy projects, and California utility executives say they can meet renewable- energy requirements with projects close to home…Anschutz is no stranger in California…To win over unions, which are strong in California, the wind company entered into partner agreements for jobs with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the International Union of Operating Engineers…”

    “…Wyoming officials are making the rounds in California [to the governor's office, the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission] with a slide presentation showing that Wyoming wind is a good deal for the state…The California Energy Commission projects that for the next 10 years out-of-state renewable energy will come from close-by Arizona, Nevada and the Northwest…The wind project received initial federal Bureau of Land Management approval in October. About half the turbines will be on public land…Studies on specific turbine sites should be completed by the end of 2013 and, pending permits, initial work on roads and infrastructure would begin in 2014…

    “…The [600-kilovolt] TransWest power-line project also has gained initial federal support, becoming one of seven in the nation selected for fast-track federal permitting…To stem power loss, the line is direct current and has no connections in the four states…At a hearing last year, Utah residents expressed frustration that the project provides no benefit to the state. In Wyoming, the project has garnered criticism from environmental groups…The BLM estimates that 46 to 64 eagles could be killed annually by the turbines…To win final approval from the BLM, the wind company must show that the specific turbine sites will not adversely impact wildlife. It has even hired its own biologists…”

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