Rocky Mountain Area Transmission Study 

RMATS

Connecting the region today
for the energy needs of the future

PROJECT UPDATES

Click a button for more information on projects and important initiatives . . . 

TOT 3 UpgradeFrontier LineHughes Transmission ProjectTrans West Express
Wyoming-West ProjectAMPS Line UpgradeNorthWestern Open SeasonColstrip Upgrade

EPAct Title XVIITransmission Rate Reform


THE TOT 3 UPGRADE

On March 10, 2005, Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal wrote a letter to the Administrator of the Western Area Power Administration seeking Western’s help with the TOT 3 upgrade, one of the in-region projects recommended in the RMATS Phase 1 Report (click here to read the letter).  On April 29, 2005, representatives of Governor Freudenthal and the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority met with Western's Administrator, Michael Hacskaylo, and members of his staff.  They began planning meetings with regional utilities to identify potential demands to support upgrading the TOT 3 transmission path to the Colorado Front Range as identified by RMATS.

The TOT 3 Upgrade project has generated serious interest:

The Western Area Power Administration has issued its Solicitation of Interest for New Transmission Capacity Between Wyoming and Colorado, soliciting interest in TOT 3.  To read the Federal Register publication of the solicitation, click here.   Statements of Interest should be submitted in a non-confidential manner and received at Western’s Rocky Mountain Regional Office by December 15, 2005.

To read the September 27, 2005, press release describing the project, click here.

A more recent release on TOT 3 project progress, click here.
 


NEW!          THE WYOMING -- WEST TRANSMISSION DEVELOPMENT STUDY    NEW!

The RMATS Phase 1 Report identified the Bridger Expansion Project as a recommended upgrade consisting of new transmission lines from the Miners Substation in Wyoming to Jim Bridger and from there to Ben Lomond in Utah and Midpoint in Idaho.  National Grid and the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority have just announced a Memorandum of Agreement to conduct a joint transmission study to help lay some groundwork for a significant increase in transmission capacity between Wyoming and its neighbors to the West.  To read the December 20, 2005, press release, click here.

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THE FRONTIER LINE

Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, Kenny Guinn of Nevada, Jon Huntsman, Jr., of Utah, and Dave Freudenthal of Wyoming announced The Frontier Line -- a proposal for developing a new interstate high-voltage transmission line originating in Wyoming and having terminal connections in Utah, Nevada and California.

To read the Governors' Memorandum of Understanding on Transmission Development click here 
Click here for background details, including this comment about RMATS:

“The genesis of this proposed project was the Rocky Mountain Area Transmission Study (RMATS), which was launched in August 2003 by Governors Dave Freudenthal (WY) and Michael Leavitt (UT). The RMATS team spent more than a year evaluating potential transmission alternatives within the Rocky Mountain region. The RMATS process recommended (1) three discreet transmission projects within the RMATS footprint and (2) several possible projects for longer-term development to enable export of generation. This proposed project grew out of those discussions.”

Read some statements below in support of The Frontier Line:
Governor Dave Freudenthal
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor Kenny Guinn
Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.
The California ISO


The Nevada Legislature's
June 21, 2005, press release: 
http://www.frontierline.org/news/PR_2005_Nevada_Resolution.pdf

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THE TRANS WEST EXPRESS

The Arizona Public Service Company has announced its interest in building project consisting of 500 KV transmission lines from Wyoming to the Phoenix/Tucson area  Click here to read the APS press release.  To view a map of the proposed line, click here.  APS has asked the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority to assist in studying the feasibility of the Trans West Express -- click here to read the Casper Star-Tribune's November 27, 2005, article.
 


The Hughes Transmission project

This project, located in northeastern Wyoming, consists of a 130-mile, 230,000-volt line connecting the Hughes Substation, north of Rozet, the Carr Draw Substation, west of Gillette and a proposed substation north of Sheridan. It is being built by Basin Electric Power Cooperative.  The Wyoming Infrastructure Authority will issue $34.5 million in bonds to finance a portion of the $50 million project, and the State Treasurer has agreed to buy the bonds.

NEW! See a map of the Hughes Transmission Project -- click here. NEW!     Read the WIA's press release on this financing -- click here.
Read the WIA bond resolution describing the financing --
click here.                Read the initial Basin Electric press release -- click here.

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Colstrip Transmission Upgrade 

RMATS and the NTAC study indicated that upgrades to the existing Colstrip Transmission system could result in additional transfer capacity across Montana of 500 MW or more.  The Colstrip Transmission Participants are in discussions to determine the interest and viability of upgrading these transmission lines.  An upgrade of these facilities is being studied to satisfy generation interconnection and transmission service requests in eastern Montana.
 


AMPS Line Phase Shifter

As a result of high system loading on Path 18 and the RMATS Study, NorthWestern Energy, Idaho Power Company, and PacifiCorp are negotiating placement of a phase shifting transformer on the AMPS line -- the 230 kV line that is part of Path 18.
 


NorthWestern Energy's Open Season 

Attached is a presentation that was made at the CREPC April 2005 meeting concerning the NorthWestern Energy's Open Season process.  The System Impact Studies have been completed and the report made available on NorthWestern Energy's OASIS.  Those who are participating in the process were sent a Facilities Studies Agreement to sign and return with the required deposit within 15 days of receipt of the documents from NorthWestern Energy.  Additional information can be found at http://www.oatioasis.com/NWMT/index.html

To view NorthWestern Energy's open season presentation slides -- click here
 


FEDERAL INITIATIVES:  TITLE XVII OF EPAct

Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 provides an interesting array of incentives for the development of, among other things, commercial Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology.  IGCC technology has the potential to enable coal-based generation to have environmental characteristics very similar to natural gas-fired generation.  Read Title XVII of EPAct here.

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FEDERAL INITIATIVES:  FERC Transmission Rate Reform

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has proposed transmission pricing reforms to increase power grid investment.  FERC says the “Energy Policy Act of 2005 directed the Commission to develop incentive-based rate treatments for transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce.”  The FERC proposal, in Docket No. RM06-4-000 is intended to implement incentives, “provide regulatory certainty, and support expanded and improved transmission infrastructure while ensuring that transmission rates remain just and reasonable . . . .”  The deadline for filing comments on the proposed rules, Promoting Transmission Investment Through Pricing Reforms, is January 11, 2006.  Read the FERC’s November 17, 2005, press release.