Philip Anschutz, the multi-billionaire and philanthropist who has been in the news lately because of the proposed sale of AEG, the Anschutz Entertainment Group, owner of the Los Angeles Kings, Staples Center, and the second largest concert ticket vendor, recently received approval from the United States’ Department of the Interior for the largest wind farm project in North America.
The Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy project, which will be installed in Wyoming, has the potential to produce between 2,000 and 3,000 megawatts. With an anticipated 1,000 turbines and a cost of $6 billion, the wind farm was first proposed in 2008. For those who like a referent, the project is expected to produce enough energy to provide electricity to roughly 1 million homes.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, a former Colorado senator mentioned the approval for the installation stems from a challenge by President Obama “to authorize 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy on our public lands by the end of the year — enough to meet the needs of more than 3 million homes.”
Half the land for the project will be on Anschutz’s cattle ranch and the other half on federal land, which is why the Department of the Interior needed to approve the installation. The Denver Business Journal mentioned that Anschutz is behind a $3 billion powerline project that will transmit wind generated electricity to Las Vegas. This will also require government approval, specifically from the Bureau of Land Management.
The anticipated construction is mid to late 2013. Given the state of the Production Tax Credit for wind, which is set to expire at the end of the year, it remains to be seen if the installation moves forward.