Cedar Springs Wind Energy project director briefs City Council - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Cedar Springs Wind Energy project director briefs City Council

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The Cedar Springs Wind Energy Project director Ryan Fitzpatrick gave the Casper City Council an overview of the project at the Tuesday, Feb. 12 Council meeting. The project will be located north of Douglas in Converse County according to the Council’s work packet.

Fitzpatrick told the Council that the construction of the 160 turbine wind energy project could see a peak workforce of about 250 workers in July of 2020. He said that some of the workforce throughout the construction phase would likely be housed in Casper.

“There’s going to be a lot of people staying in Casper for that, potentially,” he said.

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Fitzpatrick explained to the Council that Casper would be eligible for some funding assistance due to the strain on public services the project could have on the community.

Fitzpatrick works for NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. The Cedar Springs Wind Energy Project is expected to generate 400 megawatts of power. Fitzpatrick said that NextEra would own and operate half of the project and Rocky Mountain Power would own and operate the other half.

“The project is currently planned to consist of 160 wind turbines, two new substations, an operations and maintenance building, project roads, an above and underground collector system, and a 25-mile generation tie-in to the Windstar Substation near Glenrock,” reads a memo from Community Development Director Liz Becher included in the Council’s work packet.

Fitzpartick told the Council that NextEra applied for permitting with Converse County in 2018 and expects to receive the permit in early April.

An Industrial Siting application would be submitted in February and a public hearing for that could take place in May. He said that construction could begin as early as August of 2019. The turbines would likely go up in the summer of 2020. Fitzpatrick said that the energy production could begin sometime between August and December of 2020.

Responding to a question from Councilman Bob Hopkins, Fitzpatrick said that each of the 160 turbines would produce about 2.5 Megawatts of power with a net capacity factor upwards of 45 percent.

Fitzpatrick said that the project could generate $60 million in revenue for landowners over the life of the project. He pointed out that the project was compatible with agricultural activity on the land.

He said that $70 million in property and sales taxes and $50 million in power generation taxes could be collected over the life of the project, which he said could be about 30 years.

Once the project is complete, Fitzpatrick says it would require 16 full-time operation and maintenance positions.

At the end of the life of the project, Fitzpatrick said the turbines would be dug up, torn down and removed from the site and that reclamation efforts would be made.