With the filing of the complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) against PacifiCorp which outlines many incidents of alleged illegal behavior in San Juan County that involves Wasatch Wind/Latigo it makes this story out of Wyoming even more interesting.
According to the report Wasatch Wind seems to be having problems in Wyoming or are they? It doesn’t appear that Wasatch Wind is building much anywhere they just keep getting extensions, asking for tax abatement, and creating the illusion of developing a wind farm. Maybe that is because they are planning on PacifiCorp doing a “Step in” to buy the project when they don’t get it off the ground.
When a “Step in” happens the project developer can make millions by claiming it cost them millions to develop the project, and the purchasing company will pay it. This is not a loosing move for the purchaser. Hypothetically by owning the generating facility and the transmission system the company could appear to comply with the federal mandates to purchase renewable energy and yet be selling cheaper coal energy for a renewable energy price. Once the energy hits the transmission lines there is no telling if it is coal energy or wind energy. Plus, if the purchasing company is the only power company in the area they now have a legalized monopoly.
PacifiCorp already owns two other projects in Glenrock, Wyoming according to their website.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see PacifiCorp purchase Wasatch Winds Pioneer Park Project near Glenrock in the near future. Owning all three wind parts and the transmission lines would be a good deal for PacifiCorp.
This is not the first time that Wasatch Wind and PacifiCorp have been involved in developing a wind park and then PacifiCorp purchasing it. The wind farm at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon was a Wasatch Wind project and now PacifiCorp is purchasing it. That project is being purchased from a third-party because the company was going under according to their records. Guess who is linked to the third-party and making money on the sale?
The situation with Wasatch Wind in Wyoming appears to be really similar to what Wasatch Wind and PacifiCorp are doing in San Juan County, Utah. The complaint that was filed with the FERC also outlined PacifiCorp’s alleged illegal involvement with Blue Mountain Power Partners, LLC (Blue Mountain BMPP). So we shouldn’t leave Blue Mountain BMPP out because it appears they are doing the same thing as Wasatch Wind and Latigo.
In order for Blue Mountain Wind and Wasatch Wind /Latigo to pull this off with PacifiCorp there has to be local and state political support. This has become evident here in San Juan County with the documents that have been obtained and that are being presented to FERC is this complaint. Based on the information in the complaint it appears that the US Renewable Energy plan produces very little energy but it has cost the tax payers millions. It has been the breeding ground for major political corruption similar to the Transcontinental Railroad political corruption.
The real question is what will happen to all the landowners that have signed leases with Wasatch Wind / Latigo and Blue Mountain BMPP when they flip the project? What happens to all the land owners that our being encroached upon by these projects illegally and San Juan County officials are allowing it to happen according to the complaint.
If they are allowed to do the same thing here as they have done elsewhere then PacifiCorp will eventually hold the leases. So what will that mean to the land owners and the citizens of Monticello and San Juan County and the State of Utah?
It appears the lands bill is playing a part in this PacifiCorp drama. The lands bill that San Juan County Commissioner Adams was planning to have Congressman Bishop and Chaffetz introduce back on August 9th 2013 mentioned an energy corridor? Everyone has focused on the designation of National Monuments, Conservation Areas and so on and over looked the exchange of SITLA land for an energy corridor. In 2008 PacifiCorp put out a map showing their plans for energy corridors all over the western states. This plan appears to have been approved by K2O Potash (2011), SITLA (2013), the Bureau of Land Management, and San Juan County Utah (2013) which will aid in the federal designation of public lands outside of this corridor. The outcome of this complaint before the FERC will have a big effect on the citizens of San Juan County and the state Utah as well as the entire western states either way it goes.