Gateway West meetings held
Douglas — Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power held a series of public meetings in Central Wyoming mid-September to discuss two alternative routes that could be possible substitutes for the previously controversial Gateway West segment proposed through the northern Laramie Range.
One of the routes would take the transmission line southeast from Glenrock, following the Albany and Platte county line and heading west just north of Hwy. 34. From there it would make a straight shot toward Medicine Bow. Two other alternatives would follow a southwesterly route from Glenrock, paralleling the existing 230-kilovolt line for a distance, then crossing in an easterly direction at the base of the south side of the Laramie range and heading south and finally west to a substation near Medicine Bow. One of these two routes would take a more direct path from the base of the mountain range to the Medicine Bow area.
The new route options, according to Rocky Mountain Power’s Jeff Hymas, will be forwarded to the Bureau of Land Management for further consideration. The agency is currently reviewing public comments in preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the project. Hymas said if the line passes near Platte County it wouldn’t necessarily become available to transmit power from potential generation projects in that area. That may, however, change if the developer were to secure a power purchase agreement with Rocky Mountain Power or meet the federal requirements for third-party transmission access.
Rocky Mountain Power plans to have portions of the 1,150 miles of 230-kilovolt and 500-kilovolt transmission lines spanning from Glenrock to Murphy, Idaho, operational by 2014. After leaving Medicine Bow the proposed route takes the line past Rawlins, Rock Springs, Kemmerer and on into Idaho.
A draft EIS on the project, which will allow for additional public comment, is due out Spring 2010. For additional information visit www.gatewaywestproject.com. Rocky Mountain Power welcomes public comments, which can be submitted at email@example.com or by calling 801-220-4221.
Jennifer Womack is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.