Wyoming wind-farm developers granted more time to line up financing, start construction


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CASPER, Wyoming — Wyoming regulators have extended deadlines for a Utah energy developer to line up financing and begin construction on a planned wind farm with 46 turbines near Glenrock.

The state Industrial Siting Council voted Monday to give Wasatch Wind until August 2015 to prove it has a viable financial partner and until February 2016 to start building.

The deadlines had been May 18 of this year for financing and July 18 of this year to begin construction, The Casper Star-Tribune reports (http://tinyurl.com/pqw3afr).

Wasatch Wind officials said they needed extensions because negotiations for power sales, permits for eagle conservation and litigation have been taking up time.

Company President Christine Mikell said she was pleased to get the extension and isn't worried about being able to meet the new deadlines. "We need to get the power in the ground by 2016 and get a financial partner to do it. So it lines up," Mikell said.

The Industrial Siting Council is a citizen panel that reviews large industrial projects to help ensure that their construction — including the temporary influx of large numbers of construction workers — doesn't cause too much disruption to public services and infrastructure in Wyoming's small communities.

The extension for Wasatch Wind is the second granted for the company's permit. Several council members said they intended to hold the company accountable with the newest deadlines.

Park City, Utah-based Wasatch Wind has fought off challenges by a landowners group, the Northern Laramie Range Alliance, in state and federal courts and before federal regulators.

"The basic outcome, the extension of time, we're not surprised," said Ken Lay, a member of the alliance's steering committee. "We'll have to see how it unfolds now. But we continue to have all of the major concerns for the viability of this project."


Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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