Berkshire Hathaway-owned PacifiCorp has secured approvals from Idaho and the Utah regulators for the construction of the 1.15GW wind farms.


Image: The projects will cost will be just over $3bn. Photo: Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Power.

With the consents from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission on 20 July followed approval from the Utah Public Service Commission on 22 June, the utility has received the final two state approvals required to move ahead with its Energy Vision 2020 initiative.

Under the initiative, the company plans to add three wind power projects in Wyoming that will offer a total 1,150MW of new wind energy capacity. The initiative also includes 225.3km high voltage transmission line and repowering of its existing 900MW wind resources in Wyoming and Washington.

PacifiCorp’s division Rocky Mountain Power CEO Cindy A. Crane said: “As this exciting initiative receives these approvals, we look forward to the benefits the projects will bring to all our customers in the form of low-cost renewable energy and a more robust transmission system.

“These investments will significantly expand the company’s Wyoming wind fleet and benefit both state and local economies.”

According to the company’s estimates, the projects will cost will be just over $3bn, which is less than the initial $3.5bn cost estimate when the projects were first announced in April 2017.

The new wind projects are expected to increase the amount of owned and contracted wind capacity of PacifiCorp’s system by more than 60% and will add enough in new wind to power more than 400,000 homes in the US by 2020.

The repowering project will also upgrade its existing wind resources with longer blades and newer technology, which are expected to increase its capacity by more than 25% and extend the life of the wind turbines.

Pacific Power, a division of PacifiCorp that serves customers in Oregon, Washington, and California, CEO Stefan Bird said: “We are very pleased to have reached this important regulatory milestone and to move forward with construction of these projects.

“Our Energy Vision 2020 plan is a win-win that supports our commitment to meet our customers future needs with affordable energy while continuing our transition to a clean energy future.”