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U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar says that Wyoming's 3,000 MW Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Farm has cleared its final environmental impact statement. If completed, the project would be the largest wind farm in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world, the DOI says.

The proposed wind farm, located on public, private and state land in Carbon County, Wyo., would contain up to 1,000 turbines and generate enough power for up to 1 million U.S. homes, the DOI adds.

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. For more information on the proposed project, click here and here.

The wind farm is under consideration as part of the DOI's initiative to advance smart development of renewable energy on public lands.

Since 2009, the DOI says it has approved 31 utility-scale wind, solar and geothermal projects that, if built by the companies, will provide approximately 7.2 GW of power to communities across the West.

In the same announcement, Salazar also laid out steps to further offshore wind off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The publication of an environmental assessment for commercial wind leases and site assessment activities on the Outer Continental Shelf could pave the way for the DOI to offer one of the first offshore competitive lease sales in the area before the end of the year, the agency says.

According to the DOI, the environmental assessment for the Rhode Island/Massachusetts WEAs will be used by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to inform future leasing decisions as part of the Obama administration’s “Smart from the Start” offshore wind energy initiative aimed at facilitating a project's siting, leasing and construction.

The WEA comprises approximately 164,750 acres within the area of mutual interest identified by the two states. For more on Massachusetts and Rhode Island WEAs, click here.

The DOI says that BOEM 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 to conduct additional analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act in order to hold a lease sale for commercial offshore wind development.


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