With coal plants set to close early, federal money injected into Kemmerer's economy - Casper, WY Oil City News
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With coal plants set to close early, federal money injected into Kemmerer’s economy

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — PacifiCorp operates Naughton No. 1 and 2 coal plants in Kemmerer.

Those plants are looking at early closures as PacifiCorp looks to shift toward renewables. The proposed closure is for 2025.

The United States Economic Development Administration has awarded $138,950 to the City of Kemmerer to support their economic redevelopment.

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“The grant will pay half the cost of developing a detailed economic diversification strategy and hiring an impact manager for a two-year period to implement the plan,” Governor Mark Gordon’s office said on Thursday, Oct. 10. “It will help Kemmerer and Lincoln County prepare, strengthen, and diversify its economy in anticipation of the likely upcoming retirement of the Naughton #1 and #2 coal-fired power plants.”

A match for the grant will be provided to Kemmerer via a partnership with:

  • Rocky Mountain Power
  • Wyoming Business Council
  • South Lincoln Economic Development Corporation
  • Lincoln County Economic Development Joint Powers Board
  • Lincoln County

“’Our focus is on the workers and communities that will be impacted by these announced closures,’ Governor Mark Gordon said. ‘I’m glad to see that the community is taking a proactive role in charting its future.’”

Economic diversification efforts will “explore target industries, tourism opportunities and quality of life initiatives to identify specific tasks and achievable goals for Kemmerer to pursue,” the announcement adds. “After the study is complete, Kemmerer will hire an impact manager to carry out the plan.”

“Kemmerer’s diversification strategy will focus on value-added markets and development for natural resources, manufacturing processes for value-added projects, training and apprenticeships, tourism and entrepreneurial development, and infrastructure improvement.”