U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Rawlins Field Office|
The Foote Creek Rim wind project is Wyoming's first commercial facility to generate electricity from wind. Located near Arlington, Wyoming, it began commercial operation on Earth Day, April 22, 1999. The project is partially located on public lands managed by the BLM Rawlins Field Office. The project is the largest in the intermountain West.
Foote Creek Rim is a remote, treeless plateau between Laramie and Rawlins in southeastern Wyoming. The flat rimrock is one of the windiest places in America, with average winds speeds of 25 mph - 25 to 70 percent faster than other good wind sites. Strong, steady winds mean that the Wyoming Wind Energy Project can provide power more reliably than almost any other wind farm in the country, delivering an average of 43 percent of its peak power year-round.
The original project had an output of more than 85 megawatts of electricity, enough for about 27,000 average homes. Electronic control systems point each turbine into the wind and adjust the pitch of the blades to make the best use of wind at any speed. The turbines can generate power at wind speeds of 8-65 mph. At higher speeds the turbines automatically shut down - a feature which allows them to withstand Wyoming's 125-mph gusts. The turbines are also adapted to operate reliably in extremely cold conditions.
Since development of the original 69-turbine project, several subsequent phases have been constructed, and the project now totals 183 turbines with a generating capacity of 134.7 megawatts.