The TransWest Express Transmission Project is a high-voltage interregional electric transmission system developed by TransWest Express LLC (TWE), which is planning to build a new AC power line through Lincoln County to south of Boulder City.
At the Lincoln County Commission meeting June 3, Joe Tippetts, consultant for TWE, gave a presentation regarding the three-year project, expected to be completed in 2023.
TWE feels the project is critical to the new infrastructure and will deliver electricity generated by renewable resources, strengthening the power grid that serves the western United States.
The company is seeking a special-use permit from Lincoln County for the project. It will also appear before the county planning commission June 13.
The beginning point of the line is at Rawlins, Wyoming, going south through Utah and Nevada.
At facilities in Delta, Utah, the line will be converted from DC to AC power and continue south to Eldorado Valley south of Hoover Dam.
“It’s a 731-mile line from Rawlins, Wyoming, which is building a 3,000 megawatt capacity wind farm,” Tippetts said. “It’s about a $3 billion investment in the energy grid and two-thirds of it located on federal land.”
The AC portion of the line will come through Lincoln County, mostly near the Nevada-Utah border, numbering 271 towers for 69 miles.
The route will not coexist with the line that goes through Delamar Valley until it interconnects with other existing structures in the Greenfield corridor in Clark County.
Tippetts said construction plans call for two reboost facilities, two material storage yards, 17 staging areas and five batch plants to make the concrete needed.
Environmental impact studies have been completed for the project requirements and are coming to the end of the process of obtaining special-use right-of-way permits.
Tippetts said there will be 11 large Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land parcels and five privately owned parcels by three different landowners whose property the TWE line will cross. The company is working out the final details with the landowners.
Construction of the line is expected to start in Wyoming in spring 2020. Tippetts didn’t know exactly when construction work would reach Lincoln County.
The line will have a 250-foot wide maintenance road but is not going to be fenced, except where so directed by the BLM or grazing operators, allowing for a minimum amount of impact on grazing operations. “We have a lot of experience in dealing with grazing allotments,” Tippetts said.
But public access along maintenance road under the power line will not be open to the public. “However, we’ll put gates where the BLM land managers want us to and where private land owners ask for gates or fences to be placed.”
Tippetts told commissioners some of the benefits of the project will be jobs created, $1.3 million in property tax and $2.7 million in sales and use tax for the county, and TWE expects to buy 34 acre feet of water from the Lincoln County Water District during the construction phase.
Road maintenance will be worked out in an agreement with the Lincoln County Road Department.
Tippetts noted also that the Lincoln County portion of the TWE line is an AC and if the county should decide someday to build a substation to interconnect with the line, that could be done.