Dunlap wind farm to begin next spring

CARBON COUNTY, WYOMING - Rocky Mountain Power expects to begin construction next spring on a proposed 74-turbine wind farm in Carbon County.

Project manager Ken Clark told the Carbon County Commission recently that the project is mostly on land owned by the company, so only state permitting is required.

The wind far would be located north of Medicine Bow in northeast Carbon County.

Clark says work is expected to begin in April and be complete the following November.

At peak construction, about 300 workers would be employed on the project.

Clark said there are no sage grouse strutting grounds in the project area, and it is located outside of what the state has defined as sage grouse core areas.

Each tower is expected to be 260 feet tall to the top of the generator nacelle. With blades 120 feet long, the height increases to 380 feet at what's called "full sweep," or when each blade is upright at the top of its rotation, he said.

The 1.5 megawatt wind turbines are expected to be supplied by General Electric.

Clark said the site probably is capable of handling 200 towers that could generate about 300 megawatts of electricity. But right now, Rocky Mountain Power is planning to build only the one 74-tower phase, with generating capacity of 111 megawatts of power.

Because wind turbines actually generate full power only 35 to 40 percent of the time, he said the project is expected to generate enough electricity to power the homes of about 32,000 customers.

The turbines start producing power when the wind blows at 9 mph. They generate full power in winds of 30-60 mph and shut down at 60 mph, he said.

Asked about impacts on views, Clark said visual impacts are expected to be minimal in the town of Medicine Bow, which is about eight miles south of the project, because there are several ridges between the project and the town.


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