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Wind Power Wyoming

A wind turbine farm owned by PacifiCorp near Glenrock, Wyo. Bigger, more efficient equipment will allow a western U.S. electric utility to redevelop an aging Wyoming wind farm with far fewer turbines while generating the same amount of power. Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp plans to replace 68 wind turbines at the Foote Creek I wind farm with 13 turbines over the next year.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Bigger, more efficient equipment will allow an electric utility to redevelop Wyoming's first commercial wind farm so it produces the same amount of power with far fewer turbines, an example of the growing feasibility of renewable energy in the top U.S. coal-mining state.

Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp plans to replace 68 wind turbines at the Foote Creek I wind farm with 13 turbines. The wind farm atop the barren and blustery ridge called Foote Creek Rim west of Cheyenne will continue to generate about 41 megawatts, or enough electricity to power nearly 20,000 homes.

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Solar power often gets attention for efficiency gains but many U.S. utilities also are working to squeeze more megawatts out of wind, PacifiCorp spokesman Spencer Hall said.

"Just imagine buying a new cellphone today versus in '98," Hall said, referring to when the wind farm's first turbines were installed. "It's becoming a thing where we can't even get labor on some of them, there are so many projects going on."

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