T&D World Magazine

TransWest Express LLC Enters Into Agreement with Western Area Power Administration

Taking another major step forward to advance the development of new transmission in the West, TransWest Express LLC has entered into a non-binding agreement with the Western Area Power Administration to potentially acquire a 50 percent equity stake in the TransWest Express Transmission Project.

Under the agreement, TransWest Express LLC and Western are working to define a partnership to construct, operate and maintain the TWE Project – a 600-kV, 3,000-MW transmission line that will deliver renewable energy from Wyoming to electric utilities in Arizona, Nevada and California. The potential partnership is part of Western's Transmission Infrastructure Program, which is implementing the borrowing authority granted to Western under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

"Western's partnership is proof of the stability and sensibility of the TWE Project and its strategic importance in connecting Wyoming's strong renewable energy supply with the Southwest's strong renewable energy demand," said Bill Miller, president and CEO of TransWest Express LLC. "Once in-service, the 3,000-MW line will provide enough electricity to power nearly 1 million homes each year."

With more than half of its 725-mi proposed route crossing federal lands, the TransWest Express Transmission Project is being analyzed in an Environmental Impact Statement process led by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Western, which is a power marketing agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, anticipates acting as a Cooperating Agency with the TWE Project. The BLM's current schedule provides for a Draft EIS to be published in the third quarter of 2011, a Final EIS in the second quarter of 2012, and a Record of Decision at the end of 2012.

Once all permits have been obtained, up to 1,000 construction jobs will be created each year during the estimated three-year construction of the TWE Project. In addition, an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 indirect jobs will be created because of the requisite demand for material and services.

TransWest Express LLC is a wholly owned affiliate of The Anschutz Corp., a privately held company based in Denver. For more information about TWE, visit www.transwestexpress.net.

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