Rocky Mountain Power on Tuesday announced plans to develop four new wind projects in Wyoming, in what the company is calling a "major wind power expansion."

The four projects are expected to create 1,100-1,600 construction jobs in Wyoming, as well as 200 full-time positions, according to a statement from the company. Construction is expected to begin in 2019, adding some $120 million in tax revenue.

Post-construction annual tax revenues are estimated to start at roughly $11 million in 2021, growing annually to $14 million by 2024,, the company says.

With the new developments, Rocky Mountain Power looks to expand its owned and contracted wind power by about 60 percent, as well as add enough new wind energy to power roughly 450,000 average homes.

The four selected projects are:

  • A 400-megawatt project in Converse County, which would be built by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, with half of the project owned by PacifiCorp and half owned and delivered by NextEra under a power purchase agreement;
  • A 161-megawatt project in Uinta County to be built by Invenergy, LLC, and owned and operated by PacifiCorp;
  • A 500-megawatt wind project in Carbon and Albany Counties, to be built, owned and operated by PacifiCorp;
  • and a 250-megawatt project in Carbon County to be built, owned and operated by PacifiCorp.

"The new wind projects are part of the company's Energy Vision 2020 initiative, which will significantly expand the company's Wyoming wind fleet and benefit the state and local economies," Rocky Mountain Power President and CEO Cindy A. Crane said in a statement. "The project also includes a 140-mile segment of the Gateway West high-voltage transmission line in Wyoming to connect the new wind energy to Rocky Mountain Power's grid."

The new developments are projected to cost another $1.5 billion, which the company says is significantly less on a per-megawatt basis than last April's estimate, when the new wind and transmission plan was first announced. The company says that reduction in cost helps make the Energy Vision 2020 initiative less expensive than other resource alternatives, such as energy market purchases, to meet forecasted customer energy use.

According to Rocky Mountain Power, the additional wind generation and transmission line were identified in a 2017 plan for the company to meet its customers' energy needs over the next two decades in the most cost-effective manner.

Completion of the wind projects by 2020, the company says, will allow it to use federal production tax credits to provide net cost savings to customers over the life of the projects.

The bids were selected following a request for proposals issued in September, which established a competitive bidding process for the company to select the most cost-effective new wind projects.

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