Jan. 17, 2017 – Western Area Power Administration, a power marketing administration within the U.S. Department of Energy, has issued its Record of Decision selecting the route for the TransWest Express Transmission Project.
The TWE Project is a high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) electric transmission system being developed by TransWest Express LLC to directly and efficiently access diverse renewable energy supplies while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. This significant energy infrastructure will strengthen the resiliency and reliability of the western U.S. electric grid by adding 3,000 megawatts of “backbone” transmission capacity connecting the Desert Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions.
WAPA’s Record of Decision follows the May 1, 2015, publication of the TWE Project Final EIS, which WAPA and the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior, prepared as joint lead federal agencies. The Final EIS reflected eight years of detail-driven environmental analysis, public input and collaboration among 50 federal, state and local cooperating agencies.
According to WAPA, the decision “will enable design and engineering activities to proceed, which are amongst the many customary key technical and commercial considerations that will help WAPA better evaluate its options for participation in or financing of the project.”
“WAPA owns and operates thousands of miles of electric transmission to access and deliver cost-effective energy resources, including the transmission of hydropower from Hoover Dam. We appreciate having WAPA’s extensive technical and environmental expertise applied to the TWE Project analysis and development,” said Bill Miller, president and CEO of TransWest, an independent transmission developer. “The TWE Project will provide strong economic benefits and electricity cost savings across the western regional grid for decades.”
The ROD was signed by Mark A. Gabriel, WAPA Administrator and CEO. A Notice of Availability of the ROD will be published in the Federal Register.
WAPA’s ROD follows and aligns with the Dec. 13, 2016, publication of BLM’s Record of Decision, which approved issuing a right-of-way grant for the TWE Project infrastructure on BLM-managed land – representing about 60 percent of the 730-mile route.
The TWE Project route extends from south-central Wyoming, to the site of a potential interconnection near Delta, Utah, and then to the Marketplace Hub near Hoover Dam in southern Nevada, which provides interconnections to the California, Nevada and Arizona grids. TransWest has committed to hundreds of project-specific mitigation measures, best management practices and conservation actions designed to avoid, minimize and mitigate potential impacts of this infrastructure project to the environment.
- Facts about WAPA and its Transmission Infrastructure Program.
- Facts about the TWE Project Environmental Impact Statement.
- Facts about BLM’s programs and goals for transmission development on federal land.
- Facts about TransWest and the TWE Project.
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