A program that more than doubled PacifiCorp’s wind energy production by adding new wind resources, upgrading its existing wind turbine fleet and constructing a segment of the company’s Energy Gateway transmission projects is now complete.
The program began in 2017 when PacifiCorp announced its $3.1 billion Energy Vision 2020 initiative.
The four new wind projects, located in Wyoming, include Cedar Springs 1, Cedar Springs 2, Ekola Flats and TB Flats, totaling 1,150 MW of new generating capacity. They re-powered nearly all of the company’s existing wind fleet located in Wyoming, Washington and Oregon, which involved installing new larger state-of-the-art nacelles and blades – increasing the output and useful life of about 1,000 MW of existing generating capability from the same wind source.
The company also constructed 140 miles of new high voltage transmission from the newly built Aeolus substation to the new Anticline substation. The new transmission eliminates existing constraints, connects the new generation resources to customers and enhances network reliability with deployment of advanced voltage control technology.
In addition to the Energy Vision 2020 projects, three other wind projects were completed during this period. The company repowered the company’s 40 MW Foote Creek I project, which was the company’s pioneering wind investment in 1999 and one of the first major wind projects in the West. Pryor Mountain is a new 240 MW wind project located in Montana. Cedar Springs III is a new 120 MW wind project located in Wyoming, from which PacifiCorp purchases the electrical output via a long-term power purchase agreement.
“This achievement is cause for celebrating the hard work of dedicated employees and our contractors, who worked cooperatively with state utility regulators, local county and city officials, and community residents to get this job done,” says Gary Hoogeveen, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power, PacifiCorp’s retail service division in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. “Everyone involved, inside and outside the company, in working to complete these projects deserves congratulations.”
“These projects now provide low-cost renewable energy throughout our service area,” states Stefan Bird, president and CEO of Pacific Power, PacifiCorp’s retail service division in Oregon, Washington and California. “This is a major step forward in realizing our vision of a future where PacifiCorp delivers energy to our customers affordably, reliably and without greenhouse gas emissions. A future where our vast, modern energy grid connects local communities to the low-cost and reliable energy they need to innovate and achieve their goals.”
While completion of these projects is significant, PacifiCorp’s next step as outlined in its integrated resource plan (IRP) is even larger. As a result of the two-year planning process that culminated in the 2019 IRP, PacifiCorp issued in 2020 a Request for Proposals, or a call for competitive bids, that was the largest in the company’s history. After receiving over 7 GW of competitive proposals, the rigorous process resulted in a final short-list of 3,250 MW of solar, wind and storage resources.
As was the case for Energy Vision 2020, many of these resource additions rely upon the construction of new transmission that will interconnect those resources to PacifiCorp’s multi-state network. This includes more than 440 miles of new transmission representing additional Energy Gateway segments, which have been undergoing federal and local permitting process during the past decade.
Contract negotiations with the final shortlist bidders are proceeding with the objective to complete the renewable generation, storage and transmission projects by 2024.