Frequently Asked Questions
Echo Divide Wind is a proposed wind energy facility that will produced up to 100MW of electricity at full output, which is capable of powering the equivalent of approximately 21,730 Summit County homes per year. It will be located along the Utah-Wyoming border south and east of Interstate Highway 80 (I-80) in eastern Summit County, Utah, approximately 7 miles southwest of Evanston, Wyoming.
The Echo Divide Wind Park will use approximately 39 turbines to generate up to 100MW of electricity.
The turbines will be connected to each other and to an on-site substation with underground lines. The on-site substation will be sited immediately adjacent to the point of interconnection with PacifiCorp’s (Rocky Mountain Power) existing 138kV line, which is located in the southeastern portion of the project area.
The power will go onto the Rocky Mountain Power grid. It can directly interconnect to this system without reducing the demand of power from other energy sources.
The Project will generate tax revenue to support local services like schools, roads, police, fire protection and other essential government services. Hundreds of skilled individuals will be involved in the construction of Echo Divide Wind Park and local labor and materials will be tapped.
The actual footprint of the turbines will be small, and most of the power lines will be underground. Cattle and other animals can continue to roam and graze in the turbine area. Our leases allow landowners to maintain control of their land, so they can continue to allow ranching and hunting on their property.
Local landowners know how to manage their land best.
Our lease agreements give landowners the right to control uses for their property, whether it’s ranching, hunting or other recreational activities. These activities continue today on wind farms across Utah, Wyoming, and other states. Across Utah and Wyoming, you can see wildlife grazing around turbines. Antelope, elk, and other large game animals are seemingly unaffected by the presence of the turbines. Utah and Wyoming landowners who have turbines have reported that they continue to enjoy hunting on their property.
“We do a lot of hunting out here and we still see just as many elk, sometimes I think more, now that turbines are out there. The turbines have not affected elk hunting at all. There is a salt lick right next to one of the turbines and the elk and the cows still use it.”
— Shaun Sims, fifth-generation Wyoming rancher and wind energy landowner
Pre-construction wildlife studies were initiated in June 2017 and will continue through July 2019 in accordance with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) guidance documents including Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines, Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance, and the USFWS Region 6 Recommended Protocol for the Echo Divide Wind Facility in Utah and Wyoming for Pre-construction Eagle Nest Surveys, and in coordination with USFWS’ Utah Ecological Services Field Office. In addition to conducting systematic bird surveys, field biologists are making note of big game (elk, mule deer, pronghorn), small mammals (prairie dogs, ground squirrels, rabbits), and reptiles and amphibians in the Echo Divide Study Area through incidental observations. Wildlife data collected in 2017 and 2018 have been used to inform the development of the turbine layouts being considered for the Project.
Results of the 2017-2018 eagle nest survey and monitoring efforts have resulted in several potential turbine sites being dropped from consideration due to their proximity to eagle nesting territories.
Acoustic bat monitoring has been conducted at the project site since July 2017. Bat mortality at the proposed Projects will be documented during post-construction monitoring. Because the site is largely non-forested and is not located adjacent to a major riparian corridor, bat mortality rates are expected to be low.
Post-Construction Monitoring: Wildlife fatality monitoring of birds will be conducted for three years following commencement of turbine operations. Should the level of avian mortality be a concern, suitable mitigation will be determined in consultation with USFWS.