The Department of the Interior (DOI) on Monday announced the release of final environmental impact statements for a proposed wind power complex in Wyoming with a nameplate capacity of 3,000 MW and publication of an environmental assessment for commercial wind leases and site assessment activities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
The Wyoming project is the largest proposed wind farm facility in the U.S., Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. The proposed Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Farm would contain up to 1,000 turbines and be built on public, private, and state land in Carbon County, Wyo. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is reviewing the proposed wind project, as well as a proposed amendment to the Rawlins Resource Management Plan to accommodate the facility.
The environmental assessment for the Rhode Island/Massachusetts Wind Energy Area will be used by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to inform future leasing decisions as part of the administration’s “Smart from the Start” offshore wind energy initiative. The Wind Energy Area (WEA) comprises approximately 164,750 acres within the area of mutual interest identified by the two states.
BOEM leadership will host public information sessions on July 16 and 17 to further engage stakeholders and consider public comments on the environmental assessment in determining whether to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact, or conduct additional analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act in order to hold a lease sale for commercial offshore wind development.
Monday’s step puts the DOI in position to offer this area as one of the nation’s first offshore competitive lease sales before the end of the year, Salazar said.
—Edited by Sonal Patel, Senior Writer (@POWERmagazine)