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Giant wind energy project approved south of Rawlins
As many as 1,000 new wind turbines are on track for installation near Rawlins, just south of Interstate 80 (circled area). Power Company of Wyoming map

Giant wind energy project approved south of Rawlins

Oct 10, 2012 - The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday authorized what he described as potentially the largest wind energy project in the United States, if not the world: A Wyoming wind farm with up to 1,000 turbines that would provide electricity to some 1 million homes.

Roadwork and groundwork could begin next year for the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project.

After that, turbines could go up over a three-year period within an area covering 350 square miles of the hilly sagebrush country south of Rawlins in south-central Wyoming.

Most of that area is among the 245 million acres nationwide overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management -- hence Salazar's role. Salazar highlighted the project as an example of President Barack Obama's "all of the above" strategy for renewable energy development and fossil fuel extraction on BLM and other public lands.

"Our strategy is getting us within grasp of energy independence in the United States," Salazar said.

The project is one of seven renewable energy projects Interior announced in August that it would expedite for review.

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