Until recently, renewable energy in Wyoming has been predominately wind turbines. With ample open space and a Tri-State transmission line running through Goshen County, it was only a matter of time before this area was seen as a potential location for a commercial/industrial sized solar farm.

For example, Goshen Solar, LLC worked through the Wyoming Industrial Siting Council process to construct an approximately 1,200 acre industrial solar farm in the southwest portion of Goshen County. The estimated tax revenues are listed below:

  • Approximately $8 million in sales and use tax revenue (one-time)
  • Approximately $35 million in total property tax receipts (30-year project life)
    • Approximately $6 million to the Goshen County government
    • Approximately $26 million to education. (Goshen County School District and Eastern Wyoming College)
    • Approximately $3 million to local special districts
  • Approximately 250 temporary workers during construction
  • Creation of 8-10 permanent full-time positions

The estimated revenues above are from the project alone. That doesn’t include the benefits that the local business community will feel from the construction workers staying in hotels, eating in area restaurants and buying gas and groceries. According to the socio-economic study done for the Industrial Siting Application, it is estimated that non-local workers will spend approximately $6.6 million on lodging and $4 million on meals and incidentals in the local economy. In total, it is estimated that Goshen County will have a total impact of $38.4 million (direct and indirect project spending). This economic activity could generate $19.8 million in direct labor income and $2.7 million in secondary labor income for a total of $22.5 million in labor income. This labor income supports 192 direct jobs and 74 secondary jobs for total employment of 266 jobs. Average earnings per job is $84,624, almost double the average earnings per job in Goshen County in 2021.

This is an opportunity for Goshen County to receive economic benefit from an energy project, just like Converse and Campbell counties have benefited from coal, oil and gas. Unfortunately, the Goshen County Planning Commission have drafted regulations that will all but kill any future project like the Goshen Solar project. Wyoming has always been an energy export state, why is exporting solar energy any different? Goshen County should embrace economic opportunities and preserve private property rights, not regulate them to another county.