Communication Technology, Distribution Automation / Substation Automation, T&D, Transmission

BLM approves PacifiCorp’s transmission grid upgrade

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will announce in the Dec. 16 Federal Register the availability of the Record of Decision for the Energy Gateway South Transmission Project and approved land use plan amendments of the Rawlins, Little Snake, Pony Express, Price and Vernal Resource Management Plans.

The ROD constitutes the BLM’s final decision granting a right of way to PacifiCorp, doing business under the name Rocky Mountain Power, to construct and operate an extra-high voltage alternating-current transmission system. The decisions are effective immediately.

Rocky Mountain Power filed an application for a right-of-way to construct, operate and maintain a 500-kV overhead, alternating current transmission line across public and private lands for the project in November 2007. PacifiCorp amended the application several times since then.

When completed, the project will transmit about 1,500 MW of electricity generated from renewable sources at planned facilities in Wyoming, as well as from existing thermal sources. The project will begin in south central Wyoming near Medicine Bow, at the permitted Aeolus Substation, and traverses from northeast to southwest across northwestern Colorado to the existing Clover Substation near Mona, Utah, a distance of about 416 miles.

The facilities will include:

·      Construction of a single-circuit, alternating current 500-kV overhead transmission line (including associated structures, shield wires, conductors, and insulators) between the Aeolus Substation and Clover Substation

·      Construction of two series compensation stations, at points between the Aeolus and Clover substations, to improve the transport capacity and efficiency of the transmission line

·      Construction of communication regeneration stations associated with the transmission line (about every 55 miles)

·      Rebuilding of two existing 345-kV transmission lines between the Clover and Mona Substations (in the existing rights-of-way)

·      Rerouting of the Mona to Huntington 345-kV transmission line through the Clover Substation

·      Relocation of an approximate 2-mile portion of an existing line (Bears Ears to Bonanza 345-kV transmission line) to eliminate multiple line crossings in a short distance and avoid the BLM Raven Ridge Area of Critical Environmental Concern

The Selected Alternative is the Agency Preferred Alternative identified in the Final EIS. The Selected Alternative was identified as the route that best meets the BLM’s purpose and need, and the applicant’s objectives, and that avoids and minimizes minimized impacts to sensitive resources to the extent possible. The ROD addresses the mitigation and monitoring requirements applicable to the project, including identifying and requiring compensatory mitigation where impacts to sensitive resources cannot be avoided, as further described in the ROD and its appendices.