CHEYENNE, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK) - PacifiCorp has won state approval to move ahead with a wind and transmission expansion plan. The Wyoming Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a plan Thursday that would add enough new wind energy to the Rocky Mountain Power system to power more than 400,000 homes by 2020.
The PSC approved a settlement agreement between PacifiCorp (Rocky Mountain Power's parent company), the Wyoming Industrial Energy Consumers, the Wyoming Office of Consumer Advocate, and the Interwest Energy Alliance. The agreement clears the new wind and transmission portions of PacifiCorp's Energy Vision 2020 proposal. The commission also approved the necessary certificates needed for construction of the Wyoming-based wind and transmission projects.
As part of the settlement agreement, a previously announced 161 MW wind project in Uinta County, WY will no longer be included in the initiative. PacifiCorp also agreed to additional customer protections in the event of cost overruns as part of the agreement.
"This comprehensive settlement is a result of great collaboration and leadership of Wyoming stakeholders and the willingness to resolve the complex issues of the various parties in the state," said Cindy Crane, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power, the unit of PacifiCorp that serves customers in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. "Rocky Mountain Power customers continue to have some of the lowest electricity rates in the country, and this proposed settlement will reduce those rates even more."
Components of the plan are still awaiting state regulatory approval in Idaho, Utah, and Oregon.
PacifiCorp is now working on acquiring rights of way and permits. Construction on the wind and transmission projects is expected to start in 2019.