$8B Green Energy Initiative Proposed for LA

September 24, 2014 By Karen Henry

wyo-wind-farm-energy-manageFour companies have proposed an $8 billion green energy initiative that would bring large amounts of clean electricity to the Los Angeles area by 2023. The project would require construction of one of America’s largest wind farms in Wyoming, one of the world’s biggest energy storage facilities in Utah, and a 525-mile electric transmission line connecting the two sites.

The proposed project would generate more than twice the amount of electricity produced by the giant 1930s-era hydroelectric Hoover Dam in Nevada – 9.2 million MWh per year vs. 3.9 million MWh.

A key component of the project – a massive underground energy storage facility – would yield 1,200 MW of electricity.

The four companies – Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, Magnum Energy, Dresser-Rand and Duke-American Transmission – will submit their proposal to the Southern California Public Power Authority by early 2015 in response to the agency’s request for proposals.

Linking the wind farm to the energy storage facility will enable the wind farm to function largely like a traditional coal, nuclear or natural gas power plant, capable of reliably delivering large amounts of electricity whenever needed.

The energy storage facility also would reduce the need for LA-area utilities to build expensive backup power plants and power lines to serve customers on days when there’s no wind, at night when there’s no sunlight, and during other periods when traditional wind and solar farms are unable to produce electricity.

Key components of the proposed project include:

  • Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy would build, own and operate a $4-billion wind farm 40 miles north of Cheyenne. The facility would generate 2,100 MW of electricity.
  • Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, Magnum Energy and Dresser-Rand would install a $1.5-billion compressed air energy storage system at a site near Delta, Utah, 130 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. Four vertical caverns, carved out of an underground salt formation at the site, would be key components of the storage system. The four caverns combined would store the energy equivalent of 60,000 MWh of electricity.
  • Duke-American Transmission proposes to build the $2.6-billion, 525-mile, high-voltage electric transmission line that would transport the Wyoming wind farm’s electricity to the Utah energy storage facility. A separate, existing 490-mile transmission line would transport electricity from the Utah energy storage facility to the Los Angeles area.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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