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Duke, ATC plan $3.5 billion Wyoming-Nevada power line

The 500,000-volt line would be a direct current line that’s projected to cost about $3.5 billion. The project would help transport electricity generated from Wyoming wind farms to California, which has set a renewable target to obtain one-third of its power from renewable sources by 2020.

The joint venture company formed by American Transmission Co. and Duke Energy will seek to build a 950-mile power line from Wyoming to Nevada.

Duke-American Transmission Co. has acquired the Zephyr power transmission project from Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy LLC. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Canadian company TransCanada Corp., which has proposed the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, had been the developer of the Wyoming-Nevada line but sold its development rights to the project earlier this year.

Pathfinder is developing a large wind power project, planning to build 2,100 megawatts of wind power on more than 100,000 acres near Chugwater, Wyo., said John Reed of Pathfinder. The Zephyr project would originate in Chugwater and terminate in the Eldorado Valley just south of Las Vegas.

The 500,000-volt line would be a direct current line that’s projected to cost about $3.5 billion. The project would help transport electricity generated from Wyoming wind farms to California, which has set a renewable target to obtain one-third of its power from renewable sources by 2020.

“Zephyr is an ambitious energy infrastructure project that is laser-focused on providing an integrated solution to a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The joint venture company formed by American Transmission Co. and Duke Energy will seek to build a 950-mile power line from Wyoming to Nevada.
 
Duke-American Transmission Co. has acquired the Zephyr power transmission project from Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy LLC. Financial terms were not disclosed.
 
The Canadian company TransCanada Corp., which has proposed the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, had been the developer of the Wyoming-Nevada line but sold its development rights to the project earlier this year.
 
Pathfinder is developing a large wind power project, planning to build 2,100 megawatts of wind power on more than 100,000 acres near Chugwater, Wyo., said John Reed of Pathfinder. The Zephyr project would originate in Chugwater and terminate in the Eldorado Valley just south of Las Vegas.
 
The 500,000-volt line would be a direct current line that’s projected to cost about $3.5 billion. The project would help transport electricity generated from Wyoming wind farms to California, which has set a renewable target to obtain one-third of its power from renewable sources by 2020.
 
“Zephyr is an ambitious energy infrastructure project that is laser-focused on providing an integrated solution to a recurring problem facing America: How do we get clean, renewable energy to the population centers?” said Phil Grigsby, Duke senior vice president, in a statement.
 
The wind generation and transmission development are being pursued separately, but Pathfinder and DATC have agreed to work together to increase the viability of the integrated projects.
 
Duke ATC was selected because of the experience the two partners have in building transmission, with ATC’s experience coming in the series of high-voltage lines it has developed in Wisconsin.
 
“They’ve got a deep background among their partners in the dvelpoment of transmission resources in the U.S.,” Reed said, “and they had a high level of enthusiasm to bring that to bear on the Zephyr project.”
 
Duke American Transmission Co. was formed this year to build, own and operate power lines across the country. ATC is majority owned by the four eastern Wisconsin investor-owned utilities and WPPI Energy of Sun Prairie.
 
“The success of this transmission project is dependent upon on the success of Pathfinder’s generation project, and vice versa,” said John Flynn, vice president of strategic planning and business development for American Transmission Co. “By working together on a parallel development path, we avoid ‘the chicken and the egg’ dilemma that has often challenged major projects like this.”
 
DATC announced its first projects this fall, unveiling plans to build  seven Midwest power lines at a cost of $4 billion.
 
This project, which the company said would be in service in 2020, would be the first power line outside the Midwest for Duke and ATC.
 
It's one of several power lines that have been proposed to help renewable energy flow from wind farms in rural areas toward population centers in California from Wyoming.
 
“We are aware of other projects that are out there, and we have evaluated this one and we see good potential in it,” said Paul Jett, ATC director of business development, in an interview.
 
Citing an inability "to resolve key commercial issues," TransCanada dropped the project and sold its interest back to Pathfinder earlier this year, Reed said.
 
Potential hurdles to getting the project built include competition from other major projects. In addition, as the Las Vegas Review Journal recently wrote, it's possible that California will seek to meet its own renewable energy targets without importing a lot of green power.


Source: http://www.jsonline.com/blo...

DEC 19 2011
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19032-duke-atc-plan-3-5-billion-wyoming-nevada-power-line
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