New Southern Power Solar Energy Facility in Wyoming Is Operational
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New Southern Power Solar Energy Facility in Wyoming Is Operational

Southern Power South Cheyenne Solar Energy Facility
  • The South Cheyenne Solar Facility is Southern Power’s first solar energy facility in Wyoming.
  • It will deliver energy to a data center in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
  • The project cost over $300 million and employed nearly 200 workers during peak construction.

Wyoming might be the last state you think of when it comes to renewable energy, but in the immortal words of Bob Dylan, “The times are a’ changin.” The top coal-producing state is now home to the newly operational 150-megawatt South Cheyenne Solar Facility in Laramie County.


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Wyoming’s First Southern Power Solar Facility

This new facility is Southern Power’s 30th solar energy facility but the company’s first one in Wyoming. Southern Power purchased the facility from Qcells North America in September 2023. The plans to build the company were shared in November 2022 with the original goal of opening for business in December 2023.

The rural project is nine miles south of Cheyenne on 1,391 acres of private and state-leased property that was previously used for livestock grazing. The expected cost for materials and labor was well over $300 million, and the construction project employed nearly 200 workers at its peak. After opening, the solar farm needs only one full-time employee. Upon completion, the solar facility used 950 acres of the purchased land.


The Ideal Location

Qcells chose this location because it has ideal conditions to meet the needs of the solar energy market. It will deliver generated electricity to customers in Wyoming and the Intermountain West. Even though the location had minimal infrastructure, the land is in a desirable and inexpensive location — making it perfect for delivering renewable power to the surrounding area.


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The area already has wind energy, and Wyoming has created a regulatory environment that is easy for companies to navigate. Fortunately, the area was not in a region that had protected animals or other resources. The plans included photovoltaic solar panel arrays and one substation with a 115 kV interconnect transmission line to the Black Hills Sweetgrass Substation.

The new South Cheyenne Solar Facility is about 165 miles southeast of the massive Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy facility near Sinclair, Wyoming. With the addition of the new solar energy farm, it’s safe to say that Wyoming is moving into the 21st Century and looking to the future.


Working with Black Hills Energy

The solar facility will deliver renewable energy to a nearby data center under an agreement with Cheyenne Light, Fuel, and Power Transmission under Black Hills Energy.

Southern Power President Robin Boren said, “We are thrilled to announce that South Cheyenne Solar has reached commercial operation, marking a significant milestone for our team and all who have worked tirelessly on this project, and we are equally excited to see our footprint expand with our first operational site in Wyoming.”


Substantial Renewable Energy Around the U.S.

This new facility adds to Southern Power’s portfolio of 30 solar and 15 wind facilities. The portfolio creates 12,840 megawatts of energy. One MW is 1,000 kilowatts, which can power 750 homes simultaneously. Southern Power has facilities across the United States in places like California, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington.

Southern Power is a subsidiary of Southern Company. The energy and telecommunications giant is dedicated to reaching a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


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IMAGES: SOUTHERN COMPANY

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AUTHOR: 

KRISTEN BENTLEY

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