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RMP Selects Projects for Expansion

Wed February 28, 2018 - West Edition #5
Construction Equipment Guide

Rocky Mountain Power has selected four new wind projects.
Rocky Mountain Power has selected four new wind projects.

Rocky Mountain Power has selected four new wind projects to fulfill plans to significantly expand the amount of wind energy serving customers by 2020.

The four projects will expand Rocky Mountain Power's owned and contracted wind power by more than 60 percent and add enough new wind energy to power approximately 450,000 average homes.

The bids were selected following a request for proposal (RFP) issued in September 2017. The RFP establishes a competitive bidding process for the company to select the most cost-effective new wind projects. The four selected projects are:

• A 400 MW wind project in Converse County, Wyo., which will be built by NextEra Energy Resources LLC, with half of the project owned by PacifiCorp, and half of the project owned and delivered by NextEra under a Power Purchase Agreement.

• A 161 MW wind project in Uinta County, Wyo., which will be built by Invenergy LLC, and owned and operated by PacifiCorp.

• A 500 MW wind project in Carbon and Albany Counties, Wyo., which will be built, owned and operated by PacifiCorp.

• A 250 MW wind project in Carbon County, Wyo., which will be built, owned and operated by PacifiCorp.

“The new wind projects are part of the company's Energy Vision 2020 initiative, which will significantly expand the company's Wyoming wind fleet and benefit the state and local economies,” said Cindy A. Crane, Rocky Mountain Power president and CEO. “The project also includes a 140-mile segment of the Gateway West high-voltage transmission line in Wyoming to connect the new wind energy to Rocky Mountain Power's grid.”

The additional wind generation and associated transmission line were identified in the company's 2017 Integrated Resource Plan as part of a broader approach to most cost-effectively meet customers' energy needs over the next 20 years. Completing the wind projects by 2020 will allow the company to use federal production tax credits to provide net cost savings to customers over the life of the projects.

The projects also are expected to:

• Create between 1,100 and 1,600 construction jobs in Wyoming and more than 200 full-time positions;

• Add approximately $120 million in tax revenue from construction; and

• Bring significant post-construction annual tax revenues starting at approximately $11 million in 2021 and growing to $14 million annually by 2024.

The cost of the four new wind projects is estimated at approximately $1.5 billion, which is significantly less on a per-megawatt basis than when the new wind and transmission plan was first announced last April. The per-megawatt reduction in project costs helps make the Energy Vision 2020 initiative lower cost compared to other resource alternatives, such as energy market purchases, to meet forecasted customer energy needs.

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

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