Wyoming Public Service Commission approves PacifiCorp wind, transmission expansion plan

Published on April 17, 2018 by Kevin Randolph

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The Wyoming Public Service Commission (PSC) recently approved a settlement agreement and Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCNs) allowing PacifiCorp to continue with the new wind and transmission sections of its Energy Vision 2020 proposal.

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,” Cindy Crane, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power, the unit of PacifiCorp that serves customers in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, said. “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 settlement agreement between PacifiCorp, the Wyoming Industrial Energy Consumers, the Wyoming Office of Consumer Advocate and the Interwest Energy Alliance includes three new Wyoming wind projects that will provide a total 1,150 megawatts (MW) and a 140-mile high-voltage transmission line in Wyoming

The agreement requires a 161 megawatt (MW) wind project in Uinta County, Wyoming not to be included in the initiative. PacifiCorp also agreed to additional customer protections in the event of cost overruns.

The company’s Energy Vision 2020 initiative also includes a plan to upgrade the company’s existing wind fleet in Wyoming, Washington, and Oregon with longer blades and new technology. The PSC is considering this repowering plan separately. Other parts of the plan are also awaiting state regulatory approval in Utah, Oregon, and Idaho.

Pending approval from other state commissions, receipt of permits and acquisition of rights of way, construction on the wind and transmission projects is expected to begin in 2019.