The southwest corner of Wyoming borders the northeast corner of Utah, and southern border of Idaho is adjacent to the northern border of Utah, and people driving south and then east in Idaho or north and then east in Utah will come into Wyoming via I-80 which crosses the state, running from west to east.
The first city they come across in Wyoming on I-80 will be Evanston, about 23 miles from the Utah border.
On the eastern outskirts of Evanston is Bear River State Park, and there is a Wyoming Information Center there – run by the State Park Service rather than owned by the state of Wyoming.
However, as with all information centers, this center is jam-packed with brochures – as well as information about animals native to Wyoming.
The brochures cover practically every tourist and historic site in the region.
The exterior of the Visitors Center has several explanatory markers – one put up by the Wyoming tourism bureau, and the others put up by the owners of the Wyoming Wind Energy Center.
Below are photos and transcriptions of the text.
Ol Griz and Cottonwoods
Upstream and downstream, as far as the eye could see, stretched the river woods. The Bear River, flowing past this site, was a favorite trapping ground for the early fur trappers. Little did “Broken Hand” Fitzpatrick and ol’ Jim Bridger know about the changes that would take place over the next 180 years. Wild bison once roamed these ranges and are no longer found here. The grizzly, wolf, whooping crane and black-footed ferret are in these parts no longer. The land has also changed.
Cottonwood trees were once found in large stands along many western rivers. Today the cottonwood forest is vanishing. The annual spring snowmelt historically sent torrents of water down the rivers, laying new sediments on the floodplain. These exposed soils provided a seed bed for new vegetation. The cottonwood forest was established in this manner and young trees would grow up to replace old, dying trees. Cottonwood forests, as seen on this stretch of the Bear, are becoming a rare habitat in America. Why? Because as rivers are dammed, flooding is diminished, and so too is the process for sustaining the cottonwood.
To help insure the cottonwood forest does not go the way of the grizzly and the wolf in this country, man must understand the needs of the cottonwood. These riparian woodlands are vitally important in an otherwise treeless landscape. More species of wildlife inhabit these riparian woodlands than almost any other Wyoming habitat. The cottonwoods along the Bear exemplify the need for man to work with nature and have consideration for nature […] to keep our wildlife and wildlands for future generations.
Clean, Efficient and Affordable Wind Energy
Wind power supplies clean, efficient and affordable energy, providing jobs and powering the economy without causing pollution, generating hazardous wastes or depleting natural resources. As a result, wind energy is now the fastest growing source of renewable electricity generation in the world.
The modern turbines at the Wyoming Wind Energy Center are also highly reliable and efficient. These new generation turbines represent the remarkable advances made in wind turbine technology in recent years. These advances have made wind generation more efficient, reducing the cost of wind power by more than 80 percent in the past 20 years. In the early 1980s, when the first utility-scale wind turbines were installed, wind-generated electricity cost as much as 30 centers per kilowatt hour. (Source: American Wind Energy Association)
While the costs vary depending on location and other factors, today’s FPL Energy wind facilities around the country can generate power that is competitive with other sources of electricity.
The wind turbines can be seen from Interstate 80. Travel approximately 10 miles east of Evanston, Wyoming on Interstate 80 and look north. The 80 Vestas turbines produce 144 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough electricity for about 43,000 homes.
Wyoming Wind Energy Center
- Wyoming Wind Energy Center Facts
- There are 80 1.8 megawatt Vestas wind turbines
- Each turbine is approximately 350 feet tall from the ground to the tip of the blade when extended.
- Each blade is more than 125 feet long
- The tower diameter is approximately 14 feet.
- The rotor diameter is more than 200 feet, and the speed of the rotor is almost 17 revolutions per minute.
- The total weight of each turbine is about 250 tons.
- Turbines are designed to operate in winds up to 56 mph
Benefits of Wind Energy
- There are many positive benefits to wind energy operations. Our facility:
- Emits no pollutants into the air or water
- Uses no water in the generation of electricity
- Generates clean power for use in the region
- Requires little land, and surrounding land can be used for other purposes
- Provides tax payments to county governments and school systems
- Results in purchases of goods and services in the community
- Provides lease payments to landowners where turbines are installed
- Places no burden on local infrastructure – such as public schools or community services
To be selected for a wind farm, a site must have:
- Nearby access to high voltage lines (66*kV) that have the capacity available to carry more power
- Sufficient wind
- Land available
- A partner that will purchase the power generated
How Wyoming Wind Turbines Generate Electricity
- A computer automatically controls the operation of each turbine.
- The computer turns the nacelle and the rotor (which consists of three blades and a hub) to face into the wind.
- The rotor turns (depending on the type of wind turbine) at 11-22 rotations per minute (rpm). As the wind blows, the angle of the blades adjusts to suit changes in the wind speed. For safety purposes, the turbine shuts down automatically if the wind speed exceeds 56 miles per hour.
- The blades drive the main shaft, which drives the generator through a gearbox to convert the mechanical power to electrical power.
- The electricity is cabled up the tower and then through a transformer to underground collection lines before entering the main substation.
- At the substation, the voltage is stepped up and delivered to the electric grid. The step up enhances the efficiency of energy transmissions to homes and businesses.
A Leading Clean Energy Provider in the U.S.
FPL Energy is among the nation’s most disciplined competitive energy suppliers and a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable sources. More than 90 percent of the electricity we generate comes from clean or renewable resources such as wind, water and solar energy.
In fact, we are the nation’s largest producer of electricity from wind, producing almost 30 percent of all U.S. wind-generated energy. We also operate the largest solar fields in the word and are a leading producer of hydroelectric power in the Northeast.
The company has nearly 90 facilities in operation, under construction or in advanced development in more than 20 states.
FPL Energy is a subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc., one of the nation’s largest providers of electricity-related services.
About Our Partners
About IBERDROLA RENEWABLES
IBERDROLA RENEWABLES is a world leader in wind energy. With clean energy projects around the world, and a broad, diverse pipeline to grow additional renewable capacity, we are heling drive the wind power industry forward. IBERDROLA RENEWABLES is backed by IBERDROLA, one of the largest electric companies in the world, which has placed the environment and sustainable development at the center of its strategic plans.
IBERDROLA RENEWABLES is a leader in optimized energy solutions tailored to meet the needs of wholesale and large commercial and industrial customers. Our portfolio of gas and power assets, 24-hour energy management and scheduling capabilities allow us to deliver products and services that help our customers manage risks and uncertainty in the natural gas and power industries while fulfilling short- or long-term energy requirements.
With offices around the United States, the North American division of IBERDROLA RENEWABLES offers an energy portfolio that includes power from a variety of technologies and geographies. Our natural gas portfolio includes storage facilities which enable us to provide flexible gas delivery to our customers across North America.
IBERDROLA RENEWABLES offers expertise in all aspects of wholesale power and gas markets. From generation development to long-term energy supply to asset management services and more, we are capable of managing the full range of our customer’s energy needs.
IBERDROLA RENEWABLES offers a diversified portfolio of products by leveraging expertise in:
Power – marketing and development of win and thermal energy facilities, shaping and firming, scheduling and transmission management.
Natural gas – marketing, balancing, scheduling and transportation management
Natural gas storage and hub services – asset development, operations and marketing through ENSTORE
Energy services such as energy and asset management and structured power solutions tailored to fit customer needs
Renewable energy credits and carbon offsets – clean energy and climate change solutions for businesses and individuals through Community Energy, our retail marketing subsidiary
IBERDROLA RENEWABLES takes advantage of synergies across its business lines to offer customers optimized solutions tailored to fit their needs. More information is available at www.IBERDROLARENEWABLES.us.
Get Carried Away By Southern Wyoming’s Parks and Historic Sites
What to See on I-80, heading from East to West
- Bear River State Park (exit 6)
- Piedmont Kilns State Historic Site (exit2 24, 10 miles south on the county road)
- Fort Bridger State Historic Site (exit 34, 1 mile south on Hwy 30)
- Point of Rock State Station State Historic Site (exit 130, ½ miles south)
- Fort Fred Steel State Historic Site (exit 228, 1 mile north on County Road 347)
- Seminoe State Park (exit 221, 35 miles north on County Road 351)
- Curt Gowdy State Park (exit 323, 1.4 miles east on Hwy 214)
- Historic Governor’s Mansion State Historic Site (exit 352, 2 miles north to House and 21st Streets
- Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site (exit 311)
- Ames Monument State Historic Site (exit 329, 2 miles south on Harriman Road)
- Wyoming State Museumm (exit 362, 2 miles north on Central Avenue and 23rd Street)