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Western Area Power evaluating interconnection request for 504-MW Wyo. wind farm

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Western Area Power evaluating interconnection request for 504-MW Wyo. wind farm

The Western Area Power Administration, or WAPA, is evaluating an interconnection request to link private developer ConnectGen LLC's proposed 504-MW Rail Tie Wind Project to one of WAPA's high-voltage transmission lines in southern Wyoming.

Houston-based ConnectGen, a portfolio company of private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners, is planning for the project to come online by the end of 2022. The company said the project represents a capital investment of more than $500 million, and it will create a total of $178.5 million in state and local tax revenue over its life.

The project will be located on a 26,000-acre site on private and state land in Albany County, Wyo., and would interconnect with WAPA's Ault-Craig 345-kV line. WAPA is preparing an environmental impact statement for the interconnection request, per the National Environmental Policy Act. The agency held two public scoping meetings in Laramie, Wyo., earlier in January, and the 30-day scoping process ends Jan. 31. The project includes access roads, collection lines, substations, control buildings, meteorological towers and other infrastructure, according to WAPA.

According to a WAPA notice, the Rail Tie project will be developed in two 252-MW portions and will be composed of 84 to 151 turbines as tall as 675 feet to the blade tip.

Wyoming, which in recent years has fallen behind its neighboring states in wind power capacity, is set to become one of the leaders in the nation in wind power, with a project pipeline of more than 5,300 MW, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis published in December 2019.