FILE - This May 6, 2013, file photo shows a wind turbine farm owned by PacifiCorp near Glenrock, Wyo. A group of Wyoming lawmakers is bucking the U.S. trend of supporting renewable energy with a plan to do the opposite: Fine utilities if they provide energy produced by wind or the sun. (AP Photo/Matt Young, File)
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A proposed wind energy project in southern Wyoming could provide power to more than 70,000 homes in several communities in northern Colorado.
The Roundhouse Renewable Energy Project, which would be operated by Utah-based Enyo Renewable Energy, would use 75 turbines to generate 150 megawatts of energy annually for homes in Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont and Estes Park, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported Sunday.
If approved, the wind farm would become one of northern Colorado’s largest sources of wind power. It would be operated on more than 45 square miles (116 square kilometers) of private and public land in Laramie County, and the power would be sold to Platte River Power Authority, a Colorado-based energy company.
In addition to turbines, an above-ground transmission line would carry power from the wind farm to Rawhide Energy Station near Wellington, Colorado.
Rob Godby, director of the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy at the University of Wyoming, said it’s common for companies outside of Wyoming to tap into the state’s wind potential.
“Wyoming has actually built its energy infrastructure to export most of the electricity produced here,” he said. “The wind resource here is really good. The wind blows more often and more steadily than many other places in the country, and that’s why we have always touted it as a development tool.”
Wyoming also sees wind flow generally different than that of the western plains, where many of Colorado’s existing farms are built.
“There is a benefit to diversifying your sources of wind,” Godby said. “It turns out Wyoming wind sources are complementary to Colorado winds. They tend to peak at different times of the day and fill in some of those gaps.”
The Fort Collins City Council, as well as the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s industrial siting council, must approve the project, which could be completed as early as 2020.
The total projected cost of the wind farm has not been released.