Rocky Mountain Power Moves to Wyoming Wind

Submitted: June 20th, 2017 
(Originally Aired June 9th)

By, Aaron Groff

WYOMING IS A WINDY STATE, AND WITH NEARLY 140 THOUSAND CUSTOMERS, ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER PLANS TO THE MAKE WYOMING THE HOME OF THEIR 3.5 BILLION DOLLAR WIND PROJECT.

(PAUL MURPHY, ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER): "Wyoming really is the big winner here, because most of our investments are going to be here in Wyoming, which means more jobs and more tax revenue."

IT IS CALLED ENERGY VISION 2020. WITH THREE BILLION DOLLARS INVESTED IN WYOMING WIND PROJECTS, THE COMPANY SAYS IT WILL ADD 80 MILLION DOLLARS IN TAX REVENUE THROUGH CONSTRUCTION AND 11 MILLION ANNUALLY BEGINNING 2021.

(MURPHY): "Its just going to mean that we're going to have bigger, long term investment in Wyoming."

PAUL MURPHY FROM ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER TELLS ME CONSTRUCTION OF THE WIND TURBINES WOULD CREATE 16-HUNDRED JOBS AT A TIME WHEN MOST OF THE JOBS LOST FROM THE COAL AND OIL BUST HAVE NOT RETURNED.

(Murphy): "Its creating a lot of jobs that weren't there in the first place."

Murphy says WIND IS ALSO BECOMING MORE PROFITABLE. SOMETHING COAL SUPPORTERS LIKE THE WYOMING MINING ASSOCIATION UNDERSTAND, BUT HOPE WILL CHANGE.

(TRAVIS DETI, WYOMING MINING ASSOCIATION): "Becoming evident that some of that stuff is changing a little bit and starts director those resources towards the fossil fuel industry. You know I think you're going to see the utilities look at say 'hey here's where the winds of change are going."

COAL COMPANIES, THRILLED WITH PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP LEAVING THE PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD

(PRESIDENT TRUMP): "The United States will withdraw."

BUT MURPHY SAYS WHILE THE PARIS AGREEMENT PUSHED THEM TOWARDS RENEWABLES, THEY WERE HEADED THAT WAY ANYWAYS AND OPTING OUT WON'T CHANGE THE MOVE TO WIND AND SOLAR.

(MURPHY): "The Paris accord whether its in affect or not makes no difference at all. We were already on the move towards transitioning away from traditional fuel and more towards renewable energy."

BUT COAL ISN'T DONE AT ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER. THE RETIREMENT DATES AT THEIR COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS ARE ALL TENTATIVE. AFTER ALL THE WIND DOESN'T BLOW ALL THE TIME.

(MURPHY): "We still need our coal plants because when the wind isn't blowing, we need coal to make sure that energy is always available."