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State board OKs wind farms near Glenrock

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DOUGLAS -- Two wind farms proposed for south of Glenrock received a go-ahead from a state board late this afternoon.

The Wyoming Industrial Siting Council, a state board that must approve large wind power projects, voted 4-3 to approve the two 31-turbine projects along Mormon Canyon Road.

Wasatch Wind of Park City, Utah, will develop the projects, together known as the Pioneer Wind Park, which will cost between $180 million to $200 million and generate 100 megawatts of power when completed.

A number of landowners near the location of the wind farms objected to them because of concerns about property values, noise, visual pollution and damage to roads used during construction of the project.

The council decision capped four days of testimony in Douglas. In deliberations today, commissioners expressed concern about how the wind turbines would affect nearby landowners. Some commissioner also were concerned about the financial stability of California-based Edison Mission Energy, which will build and operate the wind energy project.

The commission approved a number of conditions for approving the permit, including requiring that Wasatch Wind put up a $18.8 million bond, install radar-controlled turbine safety lights and work with nearby landowners to deal with the audio and visual impacts of the wind turbines.

Prior to erecting the turbines, Wasatch Wind must also show it is financially capable of constructing, operating, maintaining and tearing down the wind farms, according to the commission's decision.

The permit is good for two years.

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