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PacifiCorp secures permission from Wyoming PSC to construct 1.15GW wind projects

CTBR Staff Writer Published 16 April 2018

PacifiCorp has secured an approval from the Wyoming Public Service Commission (Wyoming PSC) for the construction of three wind farms totaling 1.15GW and a 225km high voltage transmission line in the state.

When constructed, these three wind farms are expected to generate enough clean energy to be supplied to more than 400,000 average Wyoming homes by 2020.

For the new wind and transmission projects, the Wyoming PSC has approved the settlement agreement with PacifiCorp, the Wyoming Industrial Energy Consumers, the Wyoming Office of Consumer Advocate and the Interwest Energy Alliance. 

The commission has also approved the Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCNs) that are required to construct the Wyoming-based wind and transmission projects.

The 1.15GW wind farms represent about 60% expansion of PacifiCorp’s currently owned and contracted wind portfolio.

The three projects include the 400MW wind project in Converse County, the 500MW wind project in Carbon and Albany Counties and 250MW wind project in Carbon County in Wyoming.

Rocky Mountain Power president and CEO Cindy Crane said: “This comprehensive settlement is a result of great collaboration and leadership of Wyoming stakeholders and the willingness to resolve the complex issues of the various parties in the state.

“Rocky Mountain Power customers continue to have some of the lowest electricity rates in the country, and this proposed settlement will reduce those rates even more.”

Subject to approval from other state commissions, acquisition of rights of way, and receipt of permits, construction on the wind and transmission projects is expected to start in 2019.

As part of the settlement agreement, a 161MW wind farm in Uinta County has been excluded from the company’s Energy Vision 2020 initiative.  

Under the initiative, PacifiCorp will also upgrade or “repower,” the company’s existing wind fleet in Wyoming, Washington and Oregon.

The Wyoming commission is yet to approve the repowering plan.

Image: The 1.15GW wind farms represent about 60% expansion of PacifiCorp’s currently owned and contracted wind portfolio. Photo: Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Power.