February 15, 2012
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Communications & Public Outreach
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WSGS Launches New Website on Wyoming’s Electrical Generation Resources
Wyoming plays a major role in providing electricity for the nation’s energy needs. Maintaining records of the various fuel sources, the amount of energy produced and the capacity, is key to management of the state’s natural resources in the future.
The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) has launched a new website dedicated to Wyoming’s electrical generation. The site includes regular updates on energy resources used in the state for generating electricity, as well as the megawatts (MW) produced by each fuel source.
“We developed this website is as an information portal for management and policy decisions related to Wyoming’s energy resources and electrical generation,” said Tom Drean, director of the WSGS and State Geologist.
While Wyoming coal resources lead in providing 77 percent of all electricity generated in Wyoming, other resources have shown steady increases over the last two decades. These include renewable wind power generation (16 percent), hydropower (3 percent), and natural gas (3 percent). Oil accounts for 1 percent of the total power generation in Wyoming. The majority of the state’s electrical generation is transferred out-of-state to other markets, with a small percentage used in state for industrial electrical generation.
“This information is important to track because while oil and natural gas represents a smaller portion of generation compared to coal, the use of these fuel sources has remained constant,” Drean said. “Based on the data, we have also noticed an increase in wind power capacity in Wyoming, an increase in small hydropower projects, and that a significant amount of power is generated by companies for their use,” he said.
Also available on the website is a WSGS Summary Report on Wyoming’s Electrical Generation, with data compiled by Jim Stafford, a WSGS geohydrologist. The four-page full-color brochure covers coal, wind, hydropower, and natural gas and includes graphics on the production and capacity of each fuel source, as well as a state map on the locations of electrical generators and power lines.
“This summary serves as a snapshot on the current state of electrical generation in Wyoming, and is intended as a reference guide,” Stafford said. “The website is the main tool that we will routinely update with current and relevant information on all the energy resources that provide for Wyoming’s electrical generation, and in comparison to other states,” he said. “The primary focus of the website is the data on Wyoming’s electrical generation production and capacity,” Stafford added.
The Web-based formats range from a map of Wyoming using Google Earth to illustrate the locations and information on the various power processing sites, to shapefiles of geospatial vector data that can be used by researchers with GIS software.
To access the new website and a pdf copy of Wyoming’s Electrical Generation: A Summary Report log on to: http://www.wsgs.uwyo.edu/public-info/onlinepubs/Electrical-Generation.aspx