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The Journal Gazette

January 22, 2017 1:00 AM

2 planned wind farms to proceed

News services

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The biggest onshore wind development in the works in the U.S. has received two critical federal approvals.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Wednesday approved the 500-turbine first phase of the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind project in southern Wyoming.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved permits allowing some eagles to be killed during the wind farm’s construction and initial operation. The turbines’ spinning blades could kill up to 14 golden eagles and two bald eagles a year before project owner Power Company of Wyoming could face penalties.

Company officials expect the first turbines to go up next year.

Once complete, the wind farm will have as many as 1,000 turbines and generate up to 3,000 megawatts, or enough electricity for nearly 1 million homes.

Getting customers top issue, in poll

Getting customers is a far bigger challenge for small businesses than the economy is, according to a results of a survey Facebook released.

Seventy-four percent of U.S. small-business owners in the December survey cited attracting customers as one of their most important challenges. Related to that, 56 percent said increasing revenue and 46 percent said maintaining their profitability are among their top challenges.

Just a quarter of the 428 owners called uncertainty over economic conditions one of their big challenges. The results were released last week.

All the survey participants have Facebook pages for their companies. The World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development partnered with Facebook on the survey.

Ex-Microsoft exec hired by China firm

Baidu Inc. in Beijing, which operates China’s most popular internet search engine, says it has hired a former Microsoft executive with a background in artificial intelligence to improve its competitiveness in the field.

Baidu said Qi Lu was named group president and chief operating officer in charge of products, technology and sales. Qi, who has a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, previously was Microsoft Corp.’s global executive vice president.

Robin Li, Baidu’s chairman, said in a statement, “With Dr. Lu on board, we are confident that our strategy will be executed smoothly and Baidu will become a world-class technology company and global leader in AI.”