Rocky Mountain identifies 1.3GW in Wyoming

UNITED STATES: Rocky Mountain Power has selected plans for four new wind farms to expand its fleet in Wyoming, northwest US.

PacifiCorp subsidiary Rocky Mountain Power had issued the 1.1GW-1.27GW RFP in September

The company, which is PacifiCorp’s unit in Utah and Idaho as well as Wyoming, chose the projects following a request for proposals (RFP) issued in September.

It had previously said it wanted to add 859MW of new wind capacity by 2020 before issuing the RFP for 1.1GW and 1.27GW in September.

The projects have a combined capacity of just over 1.31GW and are to be completed by 2020.

PacifiCorp had also previously stated they will be interconnected with, or deliver power to, the utility’s proposed 225-kilometre 500kV substation and transmission system.

The successful projects are:

  • A 400MW wind project in Converse County in eastern Wyoming, which will be built by NextEra Energy Resources and delivered under a power purchase agreement (PPA). PacifiCorp and NextEra will each own half of the site.
  • A 161MW wind project in Uinta County in the southwestern corner of the state, which will be built by Invenergy. PacifiCorp will own and operate the site.
  • A 500MW wind farm spread across southerly Carbon and Albany Counties, Wyoming, which PacifiCorp will build, own and operate.
  • A 250MW wind farm in Carbon County, Wyoming, which PacifiCorp will build, own and operate.

The RFP was part of PacifiCorp’s Energy Vision 2020, an energy plan announced in April 2017.

Under the plan, the utility also wants to repower more than 1GW of its existing wind fleet in Wyoming, Washington and Oregon.

PacifiCorp stated that completing the projects by 2020 would "would allow the company to use federal production tax credits to provide net cost savings to customers", but did not confirm a 2020 completion date.

The utility added that the cost of the four new projects is "significantly less on a per-megawatt basis than when the new wind and transmission plan was first announced", but did not say by how much.

PacifiCorp had initially planned to invest $3.5 billion in fulfilling the plan.