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Wyoming billionaire eyes renewable profits in California

Nicholas Newman Energy World July 2017
two men with models of wind turbines

The US states of California and Wyoming’s attitudes towards fossil fuels and renewables are as different as chalk and cheese. For instance, the state of California has the largest economy in the US with a population of 40 million, is hi-tech, and plans to get half its power from renewables by 2030. Wyoming has the 49th smallest state economy, a population of just 0.5 million and is coal-rich and pro-fossil fuels, so much so, that it taxes the wind farms within its jurisdiction. Nevertheless, these two very different states will soon be connected by fossil fuel billionaire Philip Anschutz, plan to build a 3,000 MW wind farm on his ranch in Wyoming and export the power to California through a long distance HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) Transmission line. “At 3,000 MW, the full Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project (CCSM Project) is projected to produce 10.5-12 million megawatt-hours per year of clean renewable electricity,” states Kara Choquette, Director of Communications, at Power Company of Wyoming LLC. It is designed to generate four times more electricity than the Hoover Dam’s average annual output, the CCSM  Project is both large and complex and faces technical and political hurdles that could prove challenging to even a  self-made multi-billionaire.

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