CONTACT: Eric Barendsen, mediarelations@wapa.gov, 303-704-0765

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Today, Western Area Power Administration and GridLiance, LLC, announced a joint memorandum of understanding to explore improvements to relieve bulk electric transmission system congestion in the area of Boulder City, Nevada. Located near Hoover Dam, Boulder City is the home of WAPA’s Mead Substation which is a significant regional trading hub for wholesale energy that offers access to multiple markets throughout the western United States. WAPA, through its Transmission Infrastructure Program, will engage with GridLiance to explore opportunities that could bolster transmission capacity including Mead Substation improvements.

“The improvements developed through this early-stage exploration could enhance reliable and resilient power service in the West,” said Administrator and CEO Tracey A. LeBeau. “Building connections with partners such as GridLiance offers opportunities to address congestion at Mead Substation, and more broadly, to continue modernizing our nation’s energy infrastructure. I see this as a pivotal time to begin ta​ngible work on expanding infrastructure and to meet the moment in the West through innovative public-private partnerships.”

WAPA, a federal power marketing administration of the Department of Energy, is evaluating options that could reduce congestion and enhance reliability on its transmission system as well as facilitate increased interconnection and transmittal of energy, including renewable generation, in southern Nevada.

Last year, through a Federal Register notice, WAPA’s Desert Southwest region and TIP sought statements of interest that proposed collaboration opportunities to construct new transmission facilities or upgrade existing facilities owned by WAPA around Boulder City, Nevada, and the nearby Mead Substation energy trading hub. Secondarily, it targeted potential agreements taking transmission service from or interconnecting to the newly constructed or upgraded transmission facilities. WAPA continues to explore the proposals and other opportunities for expansion of Mead Substation and the surrounding infrastructure, including energy storage as transmission and other innovative approaches.

“The suite of solutions proposed by GridLiance is designed to unlock transmission capacity and ensure continued electric reliability in WAPA’s Desert Southwest region,” said Natalie Smith, GridLiance president. “We are honored to have access to TIP’s expertise and experience, and we look forward to exploring further transmission solutions to the benefit of customers throughout the West.”

TIP manages WAPA’s $3.25 billion in permanent borrowing authority that aims to leverage federal funds and attract nonfederal co-investment to support the development or expansion of transmission, energy storage and related infrastructure. TIP provides access to low-cost capital, which can help with project affordability for the more than 700 WAPA customers. In addition to customers, TIP also works with private infrastructure developers and investors pursuing transmission and storage projects within WAPA’s service territory. WAPA has extensive expertise and experience in transmission development, operations, maintenance, marketing and ownership, which has been successfully leveraged to support the development of projects and bring them to market.

WAPA’s DSW region, based in Phoenix, Arizona, operates and maintains more than 3,100 miles of transmission lines and facilities in Arizona, California and Nevada. WAPA’s transmission system in Nevada includes Mead Substation, a facility of the southern portion of the Pacific Northwest-Pacific Southwest Intertie Project that represents an important trading hub for wholesale power in the Southwest. Authorized by Congress in 1964, the Intertie provides, through transmission system interconnections among federal and nonfederal power systems, maximum use of power resources to meet growing demands.

A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Transmission, LLC, GridLiance is a transmission-only utility company that collaborates with rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, joint action agencies and others to plan for the future of the grid and improve system reliability. GridLiance operates more than 700 miles of transmission lines and related facilities in Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada and Oklahoma.


About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 28,000 gigawatt-hours of clean, renewable power from 57 federal hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and International Boundary and Water Commission in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Visit the website at www.wapa.gov.

Last modified on November 2nd, 2023