WYOMING – Two massive funding announcements were made today by Rocky Mountain Power and Alchemy Sciences that will have a major impact on Wyoming energy development in the coming years.
RMP announced a $3.5 billion 20-year plan that would massively expand wind, solar and transmission lines in Wyoming.
“This ambitious plan – a nearly $3 billion investment in Wyoming – diversifies Wyoming’s economy, expands markets, presents workforce training opportunities, adds jobs and strengthens the tax base in local communities,” said Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. “I look forward to working closely with Rocky Mountain Power. I see great potential for Wyoming workers and rate payers as this plan is implemented.”
The plan includes the following:
- Upgrading more than 900 megawatts of existing wind plants with larger blades and newer technology to generate 20 percent more energy in a wider range of wind conditions and capture federal production tax credit value for customers.
- Beginning construction on a segment of the Gateway West 500-kilovolt transmission line between Medicine Bow, Wyoming, and the Jim Bridger power plant in the southwestern part of the state. The 140-mile line would enable additional wind generation, improve efficiency and relieve transmission congestion.
- Facilitating construction of up to 1,100 megawatts of new wind projects, primarily in Wyoming, by the end of 2020, capturing federal production tax credit value for customers.
- Adding up to another 859 megawatts of new wind—85 megawatts in Wyoming and 774 megawatts in Idaho—between 2028 and 2036.
- Building up to 1,040 megawatts of new solar between 2028 and 2036. Approximately 77 percent of the solar is assumed to be built in Utah and 23 percent to be built in states served by Pacific Power.
- Continuing a cost-conscious transition that adds more energy diversity, the plan incorporates the company’s environmental compliance obligations for its coal plants.
Additionally, Alchemy Sciences announces it was donating $2.5 million to the University of Wyoming’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Research.
“Today’s gift from Alchemy Sciences is a shot in the arm for advanced research at the University of Wyoming,” Mead said. “The College of Engineering and School of Energy Resources at UW are hubs for innovations and for research not being done anywhere else. I thank Alchemy Sciences for its generous support of the important work taking place at our university.”
The funding supports the work of the School of Energy Resources Center of Innovation for Flow in Porous Media, as well as a chair in the UW Department of Petroleum Engineering. This support will leverage additional funding from the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the state of Wyoming. Read more about the research project here.
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