Rocky Mountain Power to Invest $1.5B in Wind

The electric company will expand its current wind generating capacity by about 60 percent, as part of its Energy Vision 2020 initiative.

4f41bd1923fe4.imageRocky Mountain Power has announced significant expansion plans to its wind energy facilities. The electric company is set to work on four new projects that are expected to bolster its owned and contracted wind power by more than 60 percent. This equates to powering about 450,000 average homes.

More than 1.3 gigawatts of wind power

Following a request for proposal process, issued in September 2017, four wind projects were selected, estimated to cost approximately $1.5 billion. The list includes a 400-megawatt wind farm in Converse County, Wyo., that will be built by NextEra Energy Resources, with ownership equally divided between PacifiCorp. and NextEra; a 161-megawatt wind facility in Uinta County, Wyo., to be built by Invenergy and owned and operated by PacifiCorp; as well as another two wind facilities slated to be built, owned and operated by PacifiCorp.—a 500-megawatt farm in Carbon and Albany counties and a 250-megawatt project in Carbon County, Wyo. 

“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,” Cindy Crane, Rocky Mountain Power president & CEO, said in prepared remarks. “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 wind generation capacity expansion and the associated transmission line are part of the company’s 2017 Integrated Resource Plan, which tackles the issue of meeting the costumer’s energy needs in a cost-effective manner. In addition, the projects are expected to bring several benefits to Wyoming: they should create between 1,100 and 1,600 construction jobs in the state and more than 200 full-time positions; they should add about $120 million in tax revenue from construction; and are set to bring significant post-construction annual tax revenues starting at approximately $11 million in 2021 and growing to $14 million annually by 2024. Construction of the new wind and transmission line projects is expected to begin in 2019.