TransCanada Corporation (TRP) has concluded a successful open season for the Zephyr Power Transmission (Zephyr) project and has signed precedent agreements for the full 3,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity with renewable energy developers in Wyoming. The three creditworthy wind developers are Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy LLC, Horizon Wind Energy LLC, and BP Wind Energy NA Inc.
“These precedent agreements are a clear indication of wind developer support for significant export transmission capacity for renewable energy out of Wyoming into the southwest markets,” said Hal Kvisle, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer. “However, support from key markets and a positive regulatory environment are necessary before we start the significant siting and permitting activities required to construct the project.”
The proposed Zephyr project is a 1,000 mile (1,600 kilometre), 500 kilovolt, high voltage direct current line designed to move 3,000 MW of wind-generated electricity from Wyoming to power markets in the southwest U.S. at a cost of approximately US$3 billion. Should Zephyr proceed to construction, major capital spending would start in late 2013 with a targeted timeframe for commercial operations of late 2015/early 2016.
Zephyr would significantly contribute to economic development in the western states, enhance resource diversity, increase energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and would promote U.S. national and state policy goals to facilitate construction of new renewable energy generation.
As part of the siting and permitting process, formal consultation with landowners, public officials, agencies and other interested parties will ramp up as satisfactory regulatory, political and market conditions are clarified.