New Sweetwater solar rules allow for input by trona

New Sweetwater solar rules allow for input by trona

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Sweetwater Solar

The Sweetwater Solar energy project, which covers about 700 acres northwest of Green River, is pictured Feb. 12.

GREEN RIVER (WNE) — Changes to the county’s industrial solar permitting rules, which would force developers to seek comments from the trona industry and state agencies like the Wyoming Game and Fish Department were approved by the Sweetwater County commissioners recently in a 4-0 vote.

The changes approved on Dec. 17 come after issues arose during the Sweetwater Solar permitting process. A second solar facility, Raven Solar, is proposed near the current Sweetwater Solar location.

“I think it’s a good change, a good addition,” Commissioner Randy Wendling said.

Craig Rood, representing Ciner, said he has nothing against the regulation changes and encouraged the commissioners to avoid permitting additional solar projects on land tied to trona leases.

“We’re not against solar,” Rood said. “We’re against solar on the trona reserves.”

Rood said large-scale expansions are being planned and solar facilities could impact those expansion plans. He also invited the commissioners to look at the Sweetwater Solar facility and see how it has impacted local wildlife.

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