CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Wyoming Senate made sure its last Committee of the Whole bill of this legislative session was thoroughly discussed on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
SF 132 would require wind energy developers to submit an application to the local county commission, certifying reasonable efforts have been undertaken to provide notice in writing to all landowners within one mile of the proposed facility. Developers would also be required to notify all cities and towns located within 20 miles of the facility as well as the military installation commander if there are any active federal military missile launch or control facilities within five miles of the planned project.
The developer would also be required receive written approval from the installation commander or a written designee for proposed projects to be allowed. There should be a determination of no hazard from the Federal Aviation Administration and documentation from the Military Aviation and Installation Assurance Siting Clearinghouse that resolves any potential adverse impact on military operations and readiness to commit to implement required mitigation measures.
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Sen. Brian Boner presented this bill to the Senate on Friday afternoon, stating that it will mainly apply to Laramie County.
“This just represents an agreement between the military, state and the American Wind Energy Association,” Boner explained. “This is really dealing with the encroachment of wind turbines around nuclear facilities.”
Senate President Drew Perkins questioned the fact that the project developer has to jump through so many hoops to get approval, wondering whether it was unfair.
Sen. Charles Scott responded that the extra legwork might be necessary to ensure safety.
“The amount of mischief some crazies could do if they got their hands on some missiles? It’s so horrendous,” Scott said. “Out of abundance of caution, we’re making it harder to get permission. This makes sure nothing falls through the cracks.”
The Senate voted to pass the bill through the Committee of the Whole. It will go up for a second reading on Wednesday, Feb. 26.