Wyoming’s wind industry is in a bit of a funk. Todd Parfitt of the state’s Industrial Siting Division cited several reasons why the number of wind turbines completed in the state is trailing the number of permits issued by state regulators to build them.
Specifically, he said legal and environmental issues such as sage grouse habitat, financial concerns, tax uncertainty, legal and transmission constraints have slowed construction of wind turbines.
The first permitted wind development in Wyoming got the go-ahead in 1995. Since then, 1,488 turbines have been permitted, of which 825 have been built. Three-fourths of the existing turbines were built between 2008 and 2010.
The wind projects that haven’t been developed appear to be on hold rather than abandoned — at least so far.