Renewable capacity is increasing, and as utility-scale generation is often located in remote locations, the development of these resources brings the added challenge of getting all that new power online.
Renewables in the west got a boost recently, when federal regulators approved a new transmission line project that will service several states.
In May 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it has notified Portland-based PacifiCorp that the utility can proceed with its Energy Gateway South Transmission line, which will connect new renewable energy resources in eastern Wyoming with customers in Utah and elsewhere across the West.
The project will consist of a 416-mile, single-circuit 500-kilovolt (kV), overhead alternating current transmission line. It will help integrate up to 2,000 megawatts of new renewable energy resources into the grid and also ensure reliability of existing generation resources.
The transmission line will begin at the Aeolus Substation near Medicine Bow, Wyo., and extend south and west to the Clover Substation near Mona, Utah.
The project, which is divided into four segments, will also include two series compensation stations, approximately 40 acres in size each, at two separate points along the project alignment. It will support approximately 1,325 construction jobs. Construction is expected to begin this month.
Gateway South is part of PacifiCorps’ larger Energy Gateway Transmission Expansion, launched in 2007. That total plan will add approximately 2,000 miles of new transmission lines across the West and is in various stages of completion.
Gateway Central, which traverses Idaho and Utah, was completed and put in service in 2010. The West of Hemingway segment, which connects Idaho with Washington, was put in service in 2019. Gateway West, which would connect parts of Wyoming and Idaho, is still in the permitting phase.