Review of the TransWest Express, a 725-mile transmission line running from Cheyenne, Wyo., to Las Vegas, Nev., has been delayed at least six months, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said last week. Developers of the Tres Amigas Superstation in New Mexico are meanwhile, reportedly tackling funding troubles, while U.S. grid operator PJM Interconnection formally announced it would axe the $1.8 billion PATH transmission line.
Anschutz Corp. subsidiary TransWest Express LLC has been developing the $3 billion line from Wyoming to Nevada since 2005 and had expected it to begin construction in 2014. But the power line’s size and scope made for a "complicated review process," the BLM said.
In New Mexico, where Tres Amigas LLC is expected to break ground this fall on the first phase of construction of the $1.9 billion Tres Amigas SuperStation (TASS), project developers are seeing funding hurdles, reported the Albuquerque Journal.
The project, slated for completion by 2017, will use voltage converters to provide transmission access in an open and flexible arrangement by allowing the interconnection of the three intersecting southwestern U.S. transmission networks: the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC).
The Journal reports, however, that developers have raised just $25 million against the $500 million required for the first phase of the project. They will need another $1.4 billion to complete the next two phases.
PJM Interconnection said in a release on Wednesday that grid conditions had changed since the 765-kilovolt, 275-mile PATH transmission line extending from West Virginia to Maryland was proposed by American Electric Power and FirstEnergy in 2007. "Our updated analysis no longer shows a need for the lines to maintain grid stability," PJM said.
PJM said a slow economy had slackened demand growth. Staff will recommend removing the projects from a 15-year plan at an Aug. 24 meeting of PJM’s board of directors.
Sources: POWERnews, BLM, TransWest Express, Albuquerque Journal, PJM Interconnection
—Sonal Patel, Senior Writer (@POWERmagazine)