St. Louis, MO, Dec. 3, 2008 — Great Basin Transmission LLC (GBT) has released a new report issued by Energy Strategies LLC that identifies benefits of the Southwest Intertie Project (SWIP). The SWIP is a proposed 500 kilovolt (kV) independent transmission project stretching over 500 miles between southern Idaho and southern Nevada. GBT is a single purpose company formed to develop, finance, construct, own, and operate the SWIP. GBT is owned by DLS Power Holdings LLC, a joint venture between LS Power and Dynegy.
The report, titled “The Southwest Intertie Project: An Assessment of Potential Benefits,” concludes that the SWIP will provide benefits to the northwest and southwest regions of the U.S. and to the holders of SWIP transmission capacity. The report further concludes that cost savings to utilities in the southwest for renewable portfolio standard compliance could be between $195 million and $500 million annually before accounting for the cost of transmission. The benefits identified in the report include:
* Increased renewable resources by providing transmission to facilitate wind and geothermal renewables located in northern Nevada and the Northwest and solar resources located in the Southwest;
* Cost savings from economy energy transfers between the northwest and southwest regions;
* Cost savings for load serving entities with obligations to satisfy renewable portfolio standards;
* Increased transfer capabilities for meeting future capacity and energy needs;
* CO2 reductions by facilitating renewable resources and the efficient transfer of energy;
* Increased system diversity by connecting diverse generation and load regions; and
* Renewable portfolio standard compliance by enabling the delivery of renewables to load.
The report finds that renewable projects in the northwest with access to the SWIP may have a cost advantage over renewable projects in the southwest. The report also finds that regional wholesale energy price differences will create market opportunities for owners of SWIP transmission capacity. Further, the report identifies the opportunity for winter peaking utilities in the northwest and summer peaking utilities in the southwest to utilize the SWIP for seasonal capacity and energy exchanges thereby reducing or delaying the need for new resources.
As much as 1,850 megawatts of north-to-south transmission capacity and 1,850 MW of south-to-north transmission capacity are available for purchase through an “open season” in which proposals to purchase long-term transmission rights on the SWIP will be considered.
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