By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A group of Albany County residents seeking a change to the county’s rules for wind energy projects plans to hold a peaceful protest rally at the county courthouse at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
The protest is set to take place one hour before a special Albany County Planning Commission meeting where members will discuss the need to change current county regulations.
The rally is a response to plans to build two industrial wind plants in the county. Organizer Paul Montoya described the development of such projects as an “onslaught…that have engulfed neighboring counties such as Laramie County and Carbon County.”
Montoya told Cowboy State Daily that the Roundhouse project outside of Cheyenne was a major factor behind the rally, noting that it’s an eyesore that can be seen from as far away as Albany County. Construction on the project, which will consist of up to 120 turbines, began in 2019 and is expected to be completed at the end of this year.
A project proposed for Albany County that is being opposed by Montoya and others is the Rail Tie Wind Project, which is to be built around Highway 287 near Tie Siding.
Montoya is quick to clarify that he’s not against wind projects, but is more frustrated with the current regulations in place and the three county commissioners’ “lip-service” regarding the raised concerns.
“We just want some updated regulations and mapping of where these plants should go,” Montoya said. “We’re really wanting them to look at what Sweetwater County has done regarding its regulations for wind and solar projects, because they’ve done a fantastic job. We don’t want to be like Teton County and not allow any sort of project like this, but we want to ensure it doesn’t impact the quality of life of the people of this community.”