On January 16, 2009, Secretarial Order 3283 was issued to facilitate the Department of the Interior's efforts to achieve the goal Congress established in Section 211 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005; by 2015, approve non-hydropower renewable energy projects on the public lands with a generation capacity of at least 10,000 megawatts of electricity.
BLM Wyoming's Renewable Energy Coordination Office was established in 2009 to facilitate the development of renewable energy projects on BLM-administered public lands in Wyoming. Although “office” implies a singular location, this is a virtual office, staffed with individuals in the locations closest to anticipated wind energy development areas.
An estimated 43 percent of the public lands in Wyoming have wind energy development potential. The renewable energy team is strategically located to focus resources on processing wind energy right-of-way applications.
The public lands in the southern half of Wyoming have the highest potential for wind energy development and consequently, most of the project and site testing right-of-way applications currently being processed by BLM Wyoming are located in the Casper, Kemmerer, Lander, Rawlins and Rock Springs Field Offices.
Generating energy from wind is only one aspect of developing renewable energy resources on the public lands in Wyoming; the energy must be delivered to the marketplace. The lack of power transmission infrastructure in the relatively remote and unpopulated areas of Wyoming with high wind potential requires the construction of new power transmission lines. The Renewable Energy Coordination Office has also been charged with facilitating the permitting and construction of powerlines associated with renewable energy development.
BLM Wyoming’s Renewable Energy Coordination Office facilitates the planned and orderly development of renewable energy resources and associated transmission facilities.
The Renewable Energy Coordination Office helps ensure that siting, environmental, and other policies are developed collaboratively to facilitate the responsible exploration and development of wind and other renewable energy resources as well as transmission projects on the public lands of Wyoming.
The Renewable Energy Coordination Office also works to ensure that development is conducted in an environmentally sustainable and transparent manner.
The Renewable Energy Coordination Office is the central point of contact for renewable energy permitting efforts in Wyoming and works with industry, the public, BLM’s internal organization, and other governmental entities.