$230 Million Wind Farm Near Glenrock Could Bring 200 Jobs, Power 44,000 Homes

Virginia-based energy giant AES Corp. says its $230 million Settler wind farm near Glenrock, Wyoming, could bring 200 jobs at the peak of construction and produce enough electricity to power 44,000 homes.

Pat Maio

February 02, 20244 min read

AES Corp. plans to develop a 150-megawatt wind farm adjacent to its Pioneer wind farm near Glenrock.
AES Corp. plans to develop a 150-megawatt wind farm adjacent to its Pioneer wind farm near Glenrock. (Courtesy AES Corp.)

AES Corp., a Virginia-based energy behemoth shedding coal-fired plants as part of a yearslong restructuring effort to focus on renewables, unveiled plans in January to build a $230 million wind farm south of Glenrock, Wyoming.

The 150-megawatt Settler wind farm project with roughly 40 turbines would create about 200 construction jobs in Converse County, with commercial operations slated to come online in late 2026.

AES expects to submit permit applications for its Settler project on 13,000 acres between Casper and Douglas with the county and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s industrial siting council in the next month or so, Converse County Commission Chairman Jim Willox told Cowboy State Daily.

“We view the renewable energy market, and projects like Settler, as a key driver for future growth,” said Terrance Unrein, senior director of wind development in the Western U.S. with AES.

Unrein declined to provide a detailed economic development assessment for the project until permits for the project are submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality’s industrial siting council.

However, Jim Willox said that he was informed that estimates to develop the wind farm could reach $230 million.

Unrein did not confirm Willox’s estimate but said that total capital expenditures for the project will be disclosed later this month when permits are submitted.

The proposal is the second major renewable energy project to hit the desks of Converse County commissioners for consideration in recent months.

More Converse Development

Separate from Settler, a Feb. 6 public hearing in Douglas will gather comments from the public on a proposal for a $500 million solar farm covering 4,738 acres on land bordering the North Platte River.

Converse County commissioners could take action to approve the proposal after the hearing, Willox said.

BrightNight LLC and Cordelio Power are developers for the Dutchman Renewable Power Project, which will provide 500 megawatts of solar power and two battery storage facilities, if approved.

The Dutchman’s proposal, which is the first solar project in Converse County, would raise its solar panels off the ground so that they are high enough to allow a sheep-grazing operation under them.

The owner of the land – and sheep – is the Tillard ranching family and Mart Madsen Sheep Co., which could not be reached for comment on the project before this story was published.

This map shows where AES Corp. wants to build a 150 MW wind farm in Converse County, Wyoming.
This map shows where AES Corp. wants to build a 150 MW wind farm in Converse County, Wyoming. (Courtesy AES Corp.)

Some Details

Meanwhile, the Settler project would generate enough power to light the equivalent of 44,000 homes, according to company officials who briefed the community on Jan. 23.

“Most of the questions at the Jan. 23 meeting focused on routing to Settler because the Glenrock entry to Mormon Canyon Road, there’s a tight 90-degree turn that might make it difficult to navigate,” Willox said.

Settler would be built adjacent to Pioneer Wind Park, an 80-MW wind power project that AES has owned and operated since 2016, Unrein said.

Settler and Pioneer are the only projects AES has underway in Wyoming, Unrein said, adding that, “We do not have any other announced renewable energy projects in Wyoming."

AES previously announced its intent to exit its coal generation businesses by the end of next year “subject to business and economic conditions,” Unrein added.

While not saying anything about how much the wind farm would cost to build, AES did note that Settler could raise an estimated $52 million in new, local tax revenue.

Meanwhile, Willox said he doesn’t see much local opposition to Settler as some of the issues were addressed earlier with the Pioneer project.

“Pioneer generated some opposition at the time when being developed (nearly a decade ago) because it is located south of the (North Platte) river, and the viewshed became a concern with the mountain (Laramie Mountain Range),” said Willox.

It may also find smooth sailing in the permit process because the project is planned entirely on private property, he added.

“This isn’t like Carbon County where mining is done on public and private land,” Willox said.

Pat Maio can be reached at pat@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Pat Maio


Pat Maio is a veteran journalist who covers energy for Cowboy State Daily.