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PacifiCorp gets regulatory nod for 1.15GW wind projects in Wyoming

EBR Staff Writer Published 16 April 2018

PacifiCorp has secured approval from the Wyoming Public Service Commission (PSC) for the construction of three new wind farms in Wyoming, having a combined capacity of 1,150MW.

The Wyoming PSC has also given its nod to a 225km high-voltage transmission line in the US state that is expected to help in transmitting additional wind power to the transmission system of PacifiCorp.

The three new wind farms, which are part of PacifiCorp’s business unit Rocky Mountain Power’s wind power expansion plans in Wyoming, include the 400MW wind farm in Converse County, a 500MW wind farm in Carbon and Albany Counties, and a 250MW wind farm in Carbon County.

However, a 161MW wind project in Uinta County has been dropped from the PacifiCorp's Energy Vision 2020 initiative, as part of the settlement agreement it reached with the Wyoming Industrial Energy Consumers, the Wyoming Office of Consumer Advocate and the Interwest Energy Alliance.

The Wyoming PSC, which had approved the settlement agreement between the parties, has also given its nod to the certificates of public convenience and necessity (CPCNs) that are required for construction of the three wind projects and the transmission project.

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.”

The new wind projects including the Uinta County wind farm are estimated to cost around $1.5bn as per an announcement made by Rocky Mountain Power in February.

PacifiCorp said that the approved wind farms, which are expected to be brought into service by 2020, will be able to meet the power consumption of more than 400,000 average homes.

Image: Wyoming PSC has approved construction of three new wind farms in Wyoming. Photo: courtesy of Rocky Mountain Power.