The decision comes after eight years of comprehensive federal environmental review.

The approval of record of decision for the project, which is being developed by independent transmission developer TransWest, marks the final step for agencies in the Environmental Impact Statement process.

The TWE Project is a high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) electric transmission system designed to add 3,000MW of "backbone" transmission capacity between the Desert Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions.

TransWest president and CEO Bill Miller said: “The Western US needs new interregional transmission infrastructure like the TWE Project, which will allow California and other Desert Southwest utilities to directly access high-capacity Wyoming wind to balance and diversify their generation portfolios in a cost-effective manner.

“Today’s important federal permitting milestone further advances the TWE Project’s progress and brings this critical infrastructure project one step closer to construction – creating employment opportunities across the West."

Designed to directly access diverse renewable energy supplies, the 730-mile HVDC transmission line is expected to strengthen the resiliency and reliability of the western US electric grid.

Expected to create up to 1,500 jobs each year during the estimated three-year construction period, the project TWE Project will extend from south-central Wyoming, to the site of a potential interconnection near Delta, Utah, and then to the Marketplace Hub near Hoover Dam in southern Nevada.

The Marketplace Hub provides interconnections to the California, Nevada and Arizona grids.

Image: The TransWest Express transmission project will provide direct access to diverse renewable energy supplies. Photo: courtesy of TransWest Express LLC/Business Wire.