BLM approves construction of TransWest Express transmission project
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (RELEASE) - In a significant milestone in the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to modernize America’s power infrastructure in the West and achieve a fully carbon-free electric grid by 2035, the Bureau of Land Management has issued a notice to proceed for construction of the 732-mile TransWest Express Project, a high-voltage transmission line that will extend from south-central Wyoming through northwestern Colorado and central Utah, ending in southern Nevada.
Over 1,000 jobs will be created during construction and once complete, the line will provide 3,000 megawatts of new transmission capacity. The TransWest Express Project will carry electricity generated by the largest onshore wind generation project in North America, the over 3-gigawatt Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project, located in Carbon County, Wyoming.
Like the TransWest Express Project, the 600-turbine Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind project is partially located on public lands managed by the BLM. Building new interregional transmission lines helps deliver clean, reliable, and affordable electricity that lowers costs for consumers. The TransWest Express Project is the second high-voltage, multi-state transmission line completed by the BLM Wyoming State Office within the last year; the State Office approved construction of the Energy Gateway South project in May 2022.
The BLM Wyoming State Office issued the notice to proceed in partnership with the agency’s Colorado, Utah, and Nevada state offices. “Public lands continue to play a vital role in advancing President Biden’s goal of achieving a netzero economy by 2050,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “This large-scale transmission line will put people to work across our public lands and will help deliver clean, renewable energy. Our responsible use of public lands today can help ensure a clean energy future for us all.”
The BLM worked with multiple federal, state, and local partners to prepare an environmental impact statement for the TransWest Express Project. The environmental impact statement process included robust public participation and assures that best management practices and environmental conservation measures will be implemented as the project is constructed and operated.
Mitigation requirements included by the BLM will offset project impacts to greater sage-grouse, lands with wilderness characteristics, and other natural resources in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada.
Additional information, including the National Environmental Policy Act documents, can be found on the BLM’s ePlanning website at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/65198/510. For more information on the TransWest Express Project, contact BLM Wyoming State Lead Public Affairs Specialist, Micky Fisher at 307-775-6328.
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