Developers Plan Huge $8 Billion, 2.1-GW Wind Plus Storage Project in California

Four energy companies are proposing an $8 billion renewable energy project that would supply Los Angeles with more than twice the power generated by the Hoover Dam.

The project includes a 2,100-megawatt wind farm in Wyoming, a 525-mile (845-kilometer) power line and a $1.5 billion storage facility, the developers said today in a statement. Duke- American Transmission, a joint venture of Duke Energy Corp. and American Transmission Co., Dresser-Rand Group Inc. and two others will propose the project to the Southern California Public Power Authority by early 2015.

“This project would be the 21st Century’s Hoover Dam — a landmark of the clean energy revolution,” Jeff Meyer, managing partner of Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, said in the statement. Magnum Energy Inc. is the fourth developer.

Energy demand in Los Angeles is projected to rise by as much as 18 percent by 2024, according to the California Energy Commission. Southern California is seeking proposals for renewable power to meet a state requirement for green energy.

Pathfinder will build and operate a $4 billion wind farm near Chugwater, Wyoming, 40 miles north of Cheyenne. A Dresser- Rand facility near Delta, Utah would use air injected into underground salt caverns to store power.

Duke-American would build a $2.6 billion transmission line stretching through Colorado linking the wind farm and storage unit that is expected to be completed in 2023. An existing 490- mile line would deliver power from Utah to Los Angeles.

The Hoover Dam, completed on the Colorado River on the border of Arizona and Nevada in 1936, has a power generating capacity of 2 gigawatts.

The dam produced an annual average of 4.2 gigawatt-hours of electricity from 1999 to 2008. The Pathfinder project with power storage would produce about 9.2 gigawatt-hours a year.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg

Lead image: Wind turbines via Shutterstock

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