New power transmission line planned
by Governor Freudenthal’s office
May 30, 2007
A substantial new transmission line project that will carry Wyoming power to markets in Utah, Idaho, Oregon and the desert southwest is a major breakthrough for the state’s energy industry, Gov. Dave Freudenthal said.
Today Rocky Mountain Power announced a $4 billion investment plan to build more than 1,200 miles of new 500-kilovolt transmission lines that will originate in Wyoming and connect to other western states. The project’s two main lines are set for completion in 2014.
“MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company should be commended for its leadership role in funding a major project like this,” Freudenthal said. “This new power line capacity will not only provide relief for the transmission bottlenecks that currently exist, but will also encourage green energy projects like wind power and clean coal technologies to move aggressively forward.”
Since transmission has been the constraint standing in the way of the development of renewable energy projects in Wyoming, the announcement of this new project is a significant step forward, Freudenthal added.
PacifiCorp, which operates as Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power, provides electricity to about 1.7 million customers in Oregon, Washington, California, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho.
“We are pleased to announce these projects as a clear signal to our retail customers, regulators and transmission customers that we are taking steps now to ensure our system is adequate and capable of meeting future customer load growth and regional needs,” said Richard Walje, president of Rocky Mountain Power. “We are uniquely situated to make these essential investments in the regional transmission grid, which ensure continued service reliability and access to various generation resources.”
The new lines will move power to high-growth areas, particularly in Utah and Wyoming. They also will support the needs of Rocky Mountain Power's customers in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming who seek increased use of renewable energy. Much of that renewable energy, particularly wind, is expected to come from Wyoming and adjacent states.
Freudenthal said this is a major development for Wyoming’s potential as a source of wind power for the region.
“This will allow our state to seriously develop wind energy in the short term and enable other complimentary energy sources to be developed in the future,” he said. “Wyoming has high quality wind and there’s no reason that it shouldn’t be harnessed to meet market demand for renewable power.”
For more information about the project, visit Rocky Mountain Power’s web site: http://www.rockymtnpower.net and visit the “News” section where a full description can be found.