Tuesday February 20 2018
PacifiCorp Selects Projects for Major Wind Power Expansion
- Filed Under:
- News Release
PacifiCorp has selected four new wind projects to fulfill plans to significantly expand the amount of wind energy serving customers by 2020.
The four projects will expand PacifiCorp’s owned and contracted wind power by more than 60 percent and add enough new wind energy to power approximately 450,000 average homes.
The new wind development is part of the company’s Energy Vision 2020 initiative, which also will upgrade the company’s existing owned wind fleet in Wyoming, Washington and Oregon with longer blades and newer technology, and build a new high-voltage transmission line in Wyoming to connect the new wind energy to PacifiCorp’s grid.
“We are committed to expanding the amount of renewable energy serving our customers, and these new wind projects will help us cost-effectively further that goal,” said Stefan Bird, President and CEO of Pacific Power, the unit of PacifiCorp that serves customers in Oregon, Washington, and California.
The bids were selected following a request for proposal (RFP) issued in September 2017. The RFP establishes a competitive bidding process for the company to choose the most cost-effective new wind projects. The four selected projects are:
- A 400 MW wind project in Converse County, Wyoming, which will be built by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, with half of the project owned and operated by PacifiCorp, and half of the project owned and delivered by NextEra under a Power Purchase Agreement.
- A 161 MW wind project in Uinta County, Wyoming, which will be built by Invenergy, LLC, and owned and operated by PacifiCorp.
- A 500 MW wind project in Carbon and Albany Counties, Wyoming, which will be built, owned and operated by PacifiCorp.
- A 250 MW wind project in Carbon County, Wyoming, which will be built, owned and operated by PacifiCorp.
The additional wind generation and associated transmission line were identified in the company’s 2017 Integrated Resource Plan as part of a broader approach to most cost-effectively meet customers’ energy needs over the next 20 years. Completing the wind projects by 2020 will allow the company to use federal production tax credits to provide net cost savings to customers over the life of the projects.
The cost of the four new wind projects is estimated at approximately $1.5 billion, which is significantly less on a per-megawatt basis than when the new wind and transmission plan was first announced last April. The per-megawatt reduction in project costs helps make the Energy Vision 2020 initiative lower cost compared to other resource alternatives, such as market purchases, to meet forecasted customer energy needs.
Pending approval from state regulatory commissions, acquisition of rights of way, and receipt of permits, construction of the new wind and transmission projects is expected to begin in 2019.