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Regulators favor eagle permits for huge Wyo. wind farm

A sprawling wind farm planned for southern Wyoming is on the verge of securing federal permits to kill a limited number of bald and golden eagles.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed issuing two "take" permits for the first phase of Power Company of Wyoming's 3,000-MW Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project in Carbon County, Wyo.

The permits, one would cover construction and the other wind farm operations, would apply to a 1,500-MW portion of the project that is expected to serve 790,000 households in California, Nevada and Arizona. The entire project has an estimated price tag of $1.37 billion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Regulators are considering issuing a standard eagle take permit authorizing the disturbance of two bald eagles at one nest and eight golden eagles at four nests annually during construction. A five-year programmatic permit would authorize killing up to an estimated two bald eagles and 14 golden eagles annually.

Before issuing the permits, regulators must determine that populations of bald and golden eagles would remain stable or increase. A decision is expected in January.