By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The federal government on Thursday approved plans by an Oregon-based company to build a 416-mile transmission line that would carry energy from wind farms across Wyoming and other Western states to a power grid in Utah.
PacifiCorp was notified this week that it could proceed with construction on its Gateway South transmission line, which will stretch from Medicine Bow to Mona, Utah, and will cross northwestern Colorado
Company spokeswoman Tiffany Erickson told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that 142 miles of the 416 mile line will be located in Wyoming.
“We started on this Energy Gateway project back in May 2007,” Erickson said. “We’ve had a number of setbacks, including the recession, the pandemic and other things in between. But now, this nod from the (U.S.) Bureau of Land Management was the last thing we needed to move forward, at least on this portion.”
Construction on the Gateway South line will begin June. The line is expected to produce around 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy. The Gateway South is just part of the larger Energy Gateway project.
The goal of the Energy Gateway project is to add approximately 2,000 miles of new transmission lines across the West and will ultimately cost around $2.2 billion. Three major segments of Energy Gateway are complete and in service, but more work continues to be done.
In August, construction will begin on Gateway West, another transmission line project that will also have a portion in Wyoming, 75 miles to be exact, according to Erickson. Gateway West will stretch from eastern Wyoming all the way to the Idaho/Oregon border.
Both Gateway South and Gateway West are expected to be completed by the end of 2024.
“Wyoming has some of the best wind in the country and that’s why Rocky Mountain Power has built wind farms in certain areas of the state,” Erickson said. “Wyoming has, for generations, played a major role in the nation’s energy future, so we’re happy to work with state and local leaders on this project.
“We want to take advantages of the energy opportunities in the state and ensure that Wyoming remains the nation’s leading energy producer and exporter,” she continued.