Linking the West with Wind

Linking the West with wind

Mar 05, 2011 - WindPower Engineering -

What good is producing wind energy if you can’t get it to people who will use it? Transmission lines are the critical link between generation facilities and the market place, and Wyoming’s got them. According to the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, there are about 15,000 MW of new transmission capacity in development bringing power generated the state to load centers in the western states such as California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. This development represents a potential $30 billion investment in transmission and generation facilities.

There are currently six major transmission projects under development in Wyoming:

TransWest Express: a 600-kV DC transmission line that offers the shortest way to bring the state’s renewable power to people in the Desert Southwest, an area comprising parts of California, Arizona, and Nevada. 3,000-MW line will span 725 miles.

Energy Gateway: designed as double-circuit and single-circuit 500-kV AC and some single-circuit 230-kV AC transmission lines between Wyoming and Idaho (Gateway West), and Wyoming and Utah (Gateway South). The lines will have a total capacity of 4,500 MW and span 2,000 miles.

Wyoming-Colorado Intertie: a 345-kV AC transmission line between Wyoming and Colorado will deliver wind resources to the Front Range, a highly-populated area in Colorado, at a competitive price. The 850-MW line will span 180 miles.

High Plains Express: a 500-kV double-circuit AC transmission line between Wyoming and Arizona with on-ramps and off-ramps in Colorado and New Mexico. The 3,500-MW line will span more than 1,200 miles.

Zephyr: a 500-kV HVDC transmission line between Wyoming and Nevada via Idaho. It will span more than 1,000 miles and have a capacity of 3,000 MW.

Overland Transmission: a 500-kV DC transmission line between Wyoming and Idaho will connect with LS Powers’ SWIP line. It will span more than 500 miles and have a capacity of 3,000 MW.