Feds Approve 416-mile Electric Transmission Line in West

May 27, 2022 by Dan McCue
Feds Approve 416-mile Electric Transmission Line in West

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has approved construction of a 416-mile electric transmission cable stretching from southwest Wyoming through Colorado and on into central Utah.

According to the Bureau of Land Management, the so-called Energy Gateway South Transmission line will help integrate up to 2,000 MW of new renewable energy into the grid while also ensuring the reliability of existing power generation resources.

Calling final approval of the line a “significant milestone” in the administration’s effort to modernize the power infrastructure in the Western U.S., the agency said it would also pave the way for construction of at least 25 GW of solar, wind and geothermal production on public lands by 2025.

“As we build toward a clean energy future, we must make sure we do so responsibly,” said Tracy Stone-Manning, director of the BLM, in a written statement.


“Approving large-scale transmission projects like this is key to bringing renewable energy online, while creating good-paying union jobs and helping bolster community resilience against the climate crisis,” she said.

A number of state agencies, including the Wyoming Public Service Commission and the Public Service Commission of Utah, signed off on the plan last month.

With the federal approval in hand, PacifiCorp., a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., can begin construction of a 500-kilovolt transmission line, which will run from the Aeolus Substation near Medicine Bow, Wyoming, through Colorado, and end at the Clover Substation near Mona, Utah.


The project is part of PacifiCorp’s larger Energy Gateway Transmission Expansion, a multi-year plan to add approximately 2,000 miles of new transmission lines across the western United States.

“These investments also support Wyoming’s energy policy by increasing the reliability of the Wyoming transmission network,” said Gary Hoogeveen, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power, in a written statement.

Rocky MountainPower is PacifiCorp’s retail service division in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho.

“Transmission additions allow the interconnection of the additional generation resources our customers will need in the coming years — including the evaluation of potential carbon-capture projects that Wyoming officials have requested; and pursuing advanced nuclear and energy storage with TerraPower, among other technologies in our diversified clean energy strategy,” Hoogeveen said.

While it awaited approval, PacifiCorp worked with representatives from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, federal partners, and the states of Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah to establish a collaborative approach to mitigating impacts to be caused by the construction of the line.

This approach will fund and establish processes for selecting mitigation projects to offset impacts to Greater Sage-Grouse, lands with wilderness characteristics, and other natural resource values across Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah, the BLM said in a press release.


PacifiCorp plans to add thousands of megawatts of wind and solar energy over the next two decades while retiring most of its 22 coal plants. The company has pledged to lower carbon emissions by 74% from 2005 levels by 2030.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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