One of the biggest wind energy projects in the U.S. has cleared a major hurdle toward getting a federal permit allowing it to kill eagles.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a final plan Thursday to ensure the Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farm in Wyoming doesn’t kill too many bald and golden eagles with turbine blades.
Federal officials say Power Company of Wyoming could get two permits as soon as January. One would allow removal of unoccupied eagle nests during construction of the first 500 turbines.
A five-year permit would allow up to 14 golden eagle deaths a year during operation. Denver-based Power Company of Wyoming would offset those deaths by retrofitting existing power lines so they can’t electrocute eagles.
The wind project eventually could have 1,000 turbines.