Top US coal producer Wyoming just approved a $1.2B solar farm

Wyoming just approved its largest solar farm – 771 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar plus battery storage.

Developer Enbridge has been issued a siting permit by the Industrial Siting Council to construct and operate Cowboy Solar I & II on private land leases in Laramie County, in the state’s southeast corner. Next steps will be to obtain county, environmental, and municipal permits.

Cowboy Solar I will include 400 MW of solar power and 136 MW of battery storage, while Cowboy Solar II will have 371 MW of solar power and 133 MW of battery storage.

Both solar farms combined will be able to power 771,000 homes – three times the number of homes in Wyoming.

Canadian energy company Enbridge plans to begin construction in March 2025, and it estimates a peak onsite workforce of around 375 workers in April 2025. It aims to bring Cowboy Solar I online in January 2027 and Cowboy Solar II online in August 2027.

Enbridge has yet to announce an offtake agreement for the electricity generated. Still, the project’s page states that it proposes to “provide clean electricity to the Cheyenne Light and Power (CLPT) grid.”

Once the solar farms come online, Cowboy Solar I & II will be Wyoming’s third utility-scale solar project. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranks Wyoming 46th in the US for solar installed, at 124 MW. Cowboy Solar will be a massive bump in renewables for a state that’s produced more coal than any other state since 1986.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, Wyoming produces almost 12 times more energy – generated mainly by fossil fuels – than it consumes, making it the second-biggest net energy supplier after Texas.

Read more: Wyoming is the No. 1 US coal producer, but its largest utility is ditching the fossil fuel

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