Florida Firm Proposes 600-MW Wyoming Wind Project Near Jim Bridger Plant

Two years after a U.S. Justice Department settlement over eagle fatalities, a Florida wind power company plans to boost its inventory of wind farms in Wyoming near the Jim Bridger plant near Rock Springs.

PM
Pat Maio

April 01, 20243 min read

Wind farm 6 6 23

Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources plans to boost its inventory of wind farms in Wyoming with a project that could produce enough electricity to power 250,000 homes.

NextEra Energy is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and is expanding beyond projects it’s already built in Converse and Laramie counties.

In its latest flex of muscle in Wyoming, the Juno Beach, Florida-based company has proposed a 600-megawatt wind farm with 213 turbines that connects to the transmission grid at a substation located at the Jim Bridger Power Plant near Rock Springs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office in Cheyenne.

Details on the economics of the proposed Jackalope wind project have not yet been disclosed by NextEra Energy. A spokesman for the company couldn’t immediately comment on the project or the status of other renewable projects in the state.

Two years ago, NextEra Energy agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice related to accidental eagle fatalities at certain wind farms owned or operated by the company in Wyoming and New Mexico. The resolution resolved past fatalities and provided a framework that allowed NextEra Energy to move forward without a continued threat to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Already In Wyoming

There are at least two other wind projects involving NextEra Energy in Wyoming.

The first phase of the Roundhouse wind project became operational in Laramie County in June 2020. When a second phase is completed, the combined project will generate about 325 megawatts of power, according to the company.

Combined, the two Roundhouse projects will provide nearly $100 million in tax revenue over 30 years to the local economy.

NextEra Energy also has plans to build and operate the Cedar Springs wind farm in Converse County.

A fourth phase of the Cedar Springs project was unveiled a year ago. Construction on the $595 million, 393-megawatt project began last summer and has a completion date in 2025, according to the company.

NextEra Energy’s first, second and third phases of the Cedar Springs project were switched on a few years ago. Half of the second phase of the farm was sold to PacifiCorp, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway Energy that also owns Rocky Mountain Power in Wyoming.

A NextEra Energy spokesman could not immediately clarify the status of all phases of the Cedar Springs project.

Public Hearings

For the proposed Jackalope project, NextEra Energy officials are planning two public hearings that will be built in two phases. The BLM said in an announcement that it plans a public hearing Tuesday in Rawlins and a second in Rock Springs on Wednesday.

The Jackalope wind project will generate 300 MW in each construction phase.

The project will cover 293,100 acres of land, with about 166,100 acres administered by the BLM and state lands managed by the Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investment.

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

Share this article

Authors

PM

Pat Maio

Writer

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