Sweetwater solar project approved

Published: Jun. 27, 2018 at 8:46 AM CDT
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Plans for the first major solar energy plant in the top coal-mining state have cleared a significant regulatory hurdle.

The Sweetwater Solar, LLC, plant will be built primarily on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land outside Green River in western Wyoming. BLM officials said Tuesday they've determined the plant will cause no significant environmental harm.

Once built, the plant will generate 80 megawatts of electricity, enough to power around 17,000 homes. The plant will have as many as 250,000 solar panels, each measuring about 6 by 3 feet (2 by 1 meters).

Wyoming gets plenty of sunshine but currently has no large, commercial solar facilities.

Around 40 percent of the nation's coal comes from Wyoming and 85 percent of the electricity generated in Wyoming comes from coal-fired power plants.