Exciting news: Wyoming’s top coal producer approves $1.2B solar farm.

By Oliver Townsend May 28, 2024
Top US coal producer Wyoming just approved a $1.2B solar farm.jpegOrginal image from: https://electrek.co/2024/05/28/top-us-coal-producer-wyoming-just-approved-a-1-2b-solar-farm/

Wyoming, known as the top US coal producer, has recently made a groundbreaking decision to approve a $1.2 billion solar farm project. This solar farm, known as Cowboy Solar I & II, will be the largest in the state, generating a total of 771 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar power alongside battery storage. Enbridge, a Canadian energy company, has obtained a siting permit to construct and operate these solar farms on private land leases in Laramie County. With the ability to power 771,000 homes, this project marks a significant shift towards renewable energy in a state historically reliant on coal production.

The Development of Cowboy Solar I & II

The first phase of Cowboy Solar will consist of 400 MW of solar power and 136 MW of battery storage, while the second phase will include 371 MW of solar power and 133 MW of battery storage. Enbridge plans to start construction in March 2025, with the goal of completing Cowboy Solar I by January 2027 and Cowboy Solar II by August 2027. Once operational, these solar farms will be the third utility-scale solar project in Wyoming, significantly increasing the state’s renewable energy capacity.

Impact on Wyoming’s Energy Landscape

Wyoming has long been a powerhouse in coal production, ranking as the number one coal producer in the US since 1986. However, with the approval of Cowboy Solar I & II, the state is making strides towards diversifying its energy sources and reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) currently ranks Wyoming 46th in the US for solar installed capacity at 124 MW. The completion of Cowboy Solar will significantly boost Wyoming’s renewable energy profile and help transition towards a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.

Wyoming’s Energy Transition

Despite its strong coal production history, Wyoming is taking steps to embrace renewable energy and reduce its carbon footprint. By approving the construction of the Cowboy Solar I & II project, the state is signaling a shift towards a more sustainable energy landscape. With its abundant solar resources and vast potential for renewable energy development, Wyoming is poised to become a key player in the transition towards a cleaner, greener future.

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