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UW Releases Second Edition of Wind Energy Guide


September 21, 2011 — The Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources and the Cooperative Extension Service (CES) at the University of Wyoming have released the second edition of a guidebook for Wyoming landowners to better understand the process of leasing private land for commercial wind energy development.

The 27-page color manual, "Commercial Wind Energy Development in Wyoming: A Guide for Landowners," has been released as a CES bulletin and represents the collaborative efforts of the Ruckelshaus Institute, CES, UW School of Energy Resources (SER) and the UW College of Law. The first edition of the reference guide was released in 2009. The second edition features a new, user-friendly format and updated legislative and tax information. 

"Wind energy development has increased rapidly in Wyoming, leading to changes in the state's rules and regulations," says Jill Lovato, Ruckelshaus Institute assistant director. "We developed this second edition of the guide so landowners would have the most current information on the process of commercial wind energy development on private land."

According to the American Wind Energy Association, Wyoming ranks 10th nationally for overall installed wind capacity and eighth for the highest potential for wind energy resources. Wind energy development in the state has increased nearly five-fold the last three years, from 288 megawatts in 2007 to more than 1,400 megawatts in 2010.

"Providing private landowners with information on how they can benefit from this renewable energy source is really important in a state with nearly half of its land under private ownership," says Milton Geiger, energy extension coordinator for CES and the SER. "This guide will be particularly useful to landowners in the southern and eastern portions of the state where we are experiencing a growing number of development projects and landowner associations."

The wind guide includes relevant information on development agreements and options, transmission and collection lines, property rights and permitting and taxes. The guide also discusses the economic impacts and options of wind development, including the advantages and disadvantages of leases based on royalty payments versus flat fees or lump-sum payments.

The appendix to the guide includes a comprehensive list of contacts and resources on wind energy development in Wyoming as well as the legal considerations related to commercial-scale wind development.

The wind guide is available for free at UW Cooperative Extension offices throughout the state and at the Ruckelshaus Institute, 804 Fremont St., in Laramie. It is also available as a downloadable pdf online at www.uwyo.edu/enr and at http://www.wyomingrenewables.org/.

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