CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming resources power the nation. Historically, it’s been fossil resources that keep America’s lights on – coal, oil and gas. Over the last decade, Wyoming wind has risen to join the ranks as another critical Wyoming resource that helps power America.
Home to some of the best inland wind resources in the country, Wyoming is in a prime position to leverage her role as an energy leader, lean on companies and individuals’ energy expertise and diversify its local economies by supporting wind energy development in the state.
Wind companies have invested $3.4 billion in Wyoming to date.
And the wind industry isn’t finished growing. The Energy Information Association predicts that 70% of the new generation built this year will be wind and solar. The wind industry is poised for exponential growth in 2021, and currently planned wind projects will bring in an additional $10 billion of investment into Wyoming.
These funds help support local services vital to communities – including schools, infrastructure and first responders – when funding from the State is decreasing and economic diversification efforts are even more critically important to support cities, towns and counties.
Wind also supports Wyoming’s legacy industries of farming and ranching; it’s estimated that approximately $11 million per year is paid in land lease payments from wind farms to family ranches and farms.
But, Wyoming isn’t the only option for wind developers. Studies from the University of Wyoming have shown that there is heavy competition from other states with similar wind resources where it’s cheaper for wind developers to operate. And Wyoming’s unstable tax structure for the wind industry doesn’t always inspire confidence.
Over the past four years, the Wyoming Legislature has debated increasing the wind industry’s tax burden 17 times.
And once again, next month, the Wyoming State Legislature will debate increasing the taxes on this burgeoning industry. No other industry has faced the continual threat of a shifting tax structure. Developers have been pleading for stability, to build and finance their projects and to secure buyers for the energy produced.
Now, the voices of citizens are being heard, calling for the Legislature to allow this industry to operate in the state.
Wind energy can provide critical tax revenue, economic opportunities and Wyoming’s chance to continue its energy leadership.
Learn more about the wind industry in Wyoming and stay informed on news, legislative actions and what you can do to support all of the above energy by visiting poweringupwyoming.org.