FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 18, 2022
CONTACT: Eric Barendsen, email@example.com, 303-704-0765
LAKEWOOD, Colorado – Today, Western Area Power Administration announced a record of decision, or ROD, approving the interconnection of the proposed Rail Tie Wind Project to WAPA’s transmission system.
Over the past three years, WAPA has been evaluating two interconnection requests submitted by ConnectGen Albany County LLC, to connect the Rail Tie Wind Project to WAPA’s existing Ault-Craig 345-kilovolt line in Albany County, Wyoming.
Because this project involves an action by the federal government, WAPA prepared an environmental impact statement, or EIS, for the interconnection requests and proposed wind project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
Informed by its assessments of environmental and system impacts, WAPA prepared a ROD regarding the interconnection of the proposed project to WAPA’s transmission system, which was approved by its Administrator and CEO Tracey LeBeau.
“Connecting more renewable energy projects to the grid is a critical step in modernizing America’s energy infrastructure and meeting our nation’s growing energy needs,” said LeBeau. “Our technical analyses found available capacity on WAPA’s system and the comprehensive analysis in the EIS provided environmental impact information, both of which informed the interconnection record of decision.”
The decision follows an administrative process that included four formal opportunities for public comment when the public, interested parties and other agencies were invited to provide comments and ask questions about the project and EIS.
WAPA published the final EIS in November 2021. The EIS analyzed the expected environmental impacts of both WAPA’s federal action of whether to allow the interconnection and of ConnectGen’s proposed Rail Tie Wind Project. All public comments were considered in the EIS and preserved in the administrative record.
The proposed Rail Tie Wind Project, which would be owned by ConnectGen, would include up to 149 wind turbines with a generating capacity of up to 504 megawatts. The wind project would be located on an approximately 26,000-acre site roughly centered on the town of Tie Siding, Wyoming, and bisected by U.S. Highway 287. In addition to the turbines, the proposed project would include access roads, collection lines, substations, control buildings, meteorological towers and other related infrastructure.
If ConnectGen completes all other local, state and federal permitting requirements, it will construct and WAPA will own, operate and maintain a switchyard to control power flow onto the existing line. More information is available on WAPA’s project website and the ConnectGen website .
Learn more about the NEPA process at the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.
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. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr, or visit the website at www.wapa.gov.
Last modified on September 12th, 2023