According to the state’s Department of Revenue, Wyoming made over $4 million in wind production taxes last year, $2.7 million of which will be divvied among Albany, Carbon, Converse, Laramie, Natrona and Uinta counties. The revenues of wind production taxes are always shared between the state and local governments where the wind energy is being generated.
The state of Wyoming was the first to tax wind production; the law required a $1-per-megawatt-hour (Mwh) tax on wind energy starting in 2012; though earlier version of the bill were as high as $3 per Mwh.
When governor Freudenthal first commented on the new law he said, “With proper ground rules, wind energy can generate income for the agricultural community, help diversify Wyoming’s economy and tax base and perhaps become a significant source of employment,”
“The increasingly heated discussions around wind projects and power lines are just the beginning. We must develop a set of fair rules that protect Wyoming people while providing certainty to wind developers.”
To give you an idea of how much money can be generated, when the Chokecherry Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project eventually goes online, the 1,000 wind turbines have the ability to produce roughly $10 million in revenue.
Communications director for the Power Company of Wyoming, Kara Choquette said, “Along with the generation tax, it’s in the hundreds and millions of dollars,”
“That’s a pretty significant increase over what Wyoming is getting now from all of the wind turbines combined.”
In the end, wind production taxes benefit the local and state governments while still allowing owners and investors to make a profit.