Major Renewable Energy Transmission Project Secures Development Funding


The Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) and TransWest Express LLC have announced an agreement to fund the TransWest Express Transmission (TWE) Project's development phase.

The TWE project's development phase will determine the feasibility of constructing and operating a 725-mile, 600 kV direct-current transmission line that would facilitate renewable energy delivery from Wyoming to the southwestern U.S. The project would interconnect with the existing transmission grid near Rawlins, Wyo., and the Marketplace Hub, near Las Vegas.

‘The TWE project will create jobs, strengthen the nation's electrical grid and add 3,000 MW of capacity for clean energy,’ says Bill Miller, president and CEO of TransWest Express LLC.

WAPA is providing its share of funding through the 2009 borrowing authority amendment to the Hoover Power Act. Under the terms of the development agreement, TWE and WAPA will each pay up to $25 million to complete the development phase. If WAPA continues its participation in the project into the construction phase – a decision that will be made when the environmental analysis is complete – additional borrowing authority would be used to help fund the project.

WAPA and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management are preparing an environmental impact statement for the TWE project. The 90-day scoping period of the environmental analysis concluded April 4. The draft environmental impact statement is expected to be available for public comment in mid-2012, with a final environmental impact statement planned by 2013, and a record of decision expected by late 2013. Commercial operation would begin in late 2015 or early 2016.

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