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Wyoming wind to Colorado
1 October 2008
An auction for future transmission capacity on the Wyoming-Colorado Intertie (WCI) Project has been deemed a success, with wind developers buying up 585 MW of a total transmission line capacity offering of 850 MW. The WCI plan will allow rich Wyoming wind resources, currently lacking transmission lines, to reach population centres and wind-hungry utilities in Colorado. It will be the first transmission line built in the region in over five years. Two wind developers with wind farms under development near Chugwater, Wyoming -- GreenHunter Wind Company and Duke Energy Ohio -- have secured capacity on the WCI lines. A section of the WCI line will run within 24 kilometres of GreenHunter's Wheatland Wind project under development, which could eventually be built out to 600 MW. The sponsor of the trans-state transmission initiative, Trans-Elect, does not expect to hit trouble selling the remaining 265 MW of capacity. Once the entire capacity is committed, Trans-Elect can complete siting, permitting, and construction of the line and begin operation by the middle of 2013. Colorado utilities are bound by law to increase their purchases of green power to 20% of their supplies by 2020 and the timing of the WCI project is scheduled to help the Public Service Company of Colorado to meet it goal to buy 500 MW of wind with deliveries beginning in 2013. "This has been a regional effort over several years to eliminate a long-standing transmission constraint between Colorado and Wyoming," says Steve Waddington of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, another project partner.
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