Spanish Company To Develop Huge Wind Farm North Of Cheyenne

Spanish energy giant Repsol has plans to build a huge 500- to 600-megawatt wind farm northwest of Cheyenne, Cowboy State Daily confirmed Tuesday. It’s the same company that bought the controversial Rail Tie wind project outside of Laramie in the spring.

Pat Maio

July 09, 20245 min read

Wind turbines stand nearly 300 feet tall in southern Wyoming in this file photo.
Wind turbines stand nearly 300 feet tall in southern Wyoming in this file photo. (Getty Images)

Spanish energy giant Repsol, which bought the controversial Rail Tie wind development project outside of Laramie, Wyoming, in the spring, has plans to develop an even larger wind farm just northwest of Cheyenne, a Repsol spokeswoman confirmed with Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.

Repsol spokeswoman Erin Szalkowski said that the permit application for the 500- to 600-megawatt project could be submitted with county and state regulators before the end of the year.

The proposed project would be located “several miles” west of Interstate-25 in the northwest portion of Laramie County, an area where True Ranches LLC runs a sprawling ranching operation.

“There are no towns nearby, it’s all rural area,” Szalkowski said.

True Ranches, which is looking to lease some of its land to Repsol, was established in 1957 with the purchase of the Double Four Ranch near Laramie Peak.

Over the last several decades, True Ranches has expanded to eight ranches, two farms and one feedlot. Employment totals just under 100 workers, according to the Casper, Wyoming-based company’s website.

The cattle operation raises Angus, Black Baldy, Charolais and Hereford and fattened, or finished in cattle-speak, at the ranching operator’s feedlots.

Stetson Weber, superintendent with True Ranches, was not immediately available for comment on the proposed wind farm development project.

“The team isn’t able to share landowner information right now,” Szalkowski said. “The project is in early stage development.”

Changes Along The Way

The company developing the Laramie Range wind project is formally called Repsol Renewables North America, which was previously known as renewable energy firm ConnectGen.

But Houston-based ConnectGen was sold by private equity firm Quantum Capital Group to Repsol in a $768 million deal.

Quantum’s renewable energy arm, 547 Energy, owned ConnectGen.

The deal to buy ConnectGen, which was first announced last fall, was completed in March.

ConnectGen, founded in 2018, operates 278 megawatts of solar energy projects in Arizona, California and Nevada.

Repsol’s nationwide development pipeline, including the 504-megawatt Rail Tie wind farm project in Albany County, features more than 20,000 megawatts of wind power, solar power and energy storage projects.

The Rail Tie project involves 120 wind turbines across 26,000 acres.

As for the Laramie Range project, Szalkowski said that “additional details will be made available as project engineering advances.”

Closed-Door Meeting

Meanwhile, Repsol’s only other wind farm project in Wyoming is much further along, though it has encountered some snags in recent months.

An influential seven-member industrial siting council with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality plans a closed-door meeting Wednesday to sort out a legal mess that could determine the future of the $500 million Rail Tie development.

The industrial siting group will likely determine the “financial adequacy” of the former owner of the wind farm project and whether it was done legally by a late last year deadline, as well as whether the deep pockets of the new owner from Spain are sufficient to get the project built, according to sources involved in the meeting interviewed by Cowboy State Daily.

The cornerstone of the special meeting is to review financial adequacy statements of the wind farm development’s sponsors, according to an announcement issued by the DEQ’s industrial siting council, which is tasked with the job of examining new energy projects in Wyoming.

Fish Creek Preserve homeowners outside of Laramie oppose the development of the Rail Tie wind power project near Highway 287 outside of Tie Siding.

They oppose the project because it brings down the value of the association’s properties and the viewscape of the area, and have raised concerns over the impact on wildlife, archeological and historical sites.

As background, the special meeting Wednesday relates to a Dec. 4, 2023, order by the industrial siting council that approved the so-called Rail Tie wind project, a necessary and critical step needed before construction can begin.

Pig In A Poke?

But the homeowners successfully sought a stay of the project from beginning construction because of litigation filed by the homeowners.

The homeowners claim that the industrial siting council approved the financial adequacy of the previous owner by not sharing the financial resource information with their group, which is an intervenor in litigation against the DEQ.

“We feel whipsawed. We bought a home in a rural residential area near the project and never imagined that this wind farm would come in,” homeowner John Davis told Cowboy State Daily. “It is an industrialization of the area.”

The industrial siting council’s approval of the project was done outside of the legal bounds of how power projects are supposed to be approved, Davis claimed.

The legal mess has grown murkier because of the entrance into Wyoming of a new owner of the project. Davis claimed that the new entrant may have to start the Rail Tie permitting process all over because of the homeowners’ claim that the ConnectGen financial adequacy process wasn’t done properly last fall.

“If I were Repsol, I would feel I was sold a pig in a poke,” Davis said.

Pat Maio can be reached at

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Pat Maio


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