July 28, 2008
Rawlins BLM Announces Scoping Period for the
Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project EIS
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rawlins Field Office today issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS), amend the Rawlins Resource Management Plan, and conduct scoping for the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project in Carbon County, Wyo.
The EIS will analyze the impacts of issuing rights-of-way for a wind energy project and ancillary facilities (consisting of access roads, electric power gathering cables, an electric transmission line, and electric substations) to Wyoming Power Company of Wyoming, LLC. The EIS will address the proposed action and a range of reasonable alternatives including a no action alternative.
The proposed action includes the construction, operation and maintenance of a nominal 2,000 megawatt (MW) wind energy project and ancillary facilities. The wind energy project area comprises approximately 98,500 acres located within Townships 19-20 North, Ranges 85-87 West for the Chokecherry area, and Townships 16-18 North, Ranges 87-89 West for the Sierra Madre area. The project occurs in a “checker board” land ownership pattern with approximately half of the project area under the administration of BLM and the remainder under private and State of Wyoming ownership.
The proposed 2,000 MWs will be provided by approximately 675 2-MW turbines to be constructed in the Chokecherry area portion of the project, and approximately 325 2-MW turbines to be constructed in the Sierra Madre portion of the project area. Other associated facilities required by the project will include access roads, underground electric gathering lines, an overhead electric transmission line, and electric substations to interconnect the generated power to the electric grid. The project will utilize existing roads.
The project will require approximately three to five years for construction, with an in-service target date of late 2012. The project will operate continuously, except for maintenance shutdowns on individual wind turbine generators, with a projected 30-year life. Power would interconnect with the national electric grid.
Public meetings will be held to inform the public and obtain comments. Dates, times and locations of meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local media, news releases and posting to the BLM Wyoming website (www.blm.gov/wy). The public comment period will close 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.
The BLM Field Manager, Rawlins Field Office, 1300 N. Third Street, Rawlins, WY 82301 will receive comments submitted via mail or overnight delivery from the general public and interested parties. Facsimiles, telephone calls, or electronic mail via Internet will not be considered as validly submitted comments. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
For further information, contact: Heather Nino, Realty Specialist, Bureau of Land Management, Rawlins Field Office, 1300 North Third Street, Rawlins WY 82301 or Heather_Nino@blm.gov, or Jerry Crockford at cellular telephone (505) 360-0473.
- BLM -