Rocky Mountain Area Transmission Study
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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,
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.
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.
“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.”
statements below in support of The Frontier Line:
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
to read the APS press release. To view a map of the proposed line,
APS has asked the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority to assist in studying
the feasibility of the Trans West Express --
to read the Casper Star-Tribune's
November 27, 2005, article.
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.
See a map of the Hughes Transmission Project --
NEW! Read the WIA's press release on this financing --
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.
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.
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
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.
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.