Obama administration to accelerate review of power line project

The Obama administration is ordering seven proposed power lines, including one that could cut across northwest Colorado, to be fast-tracked.

The TransWest Express transmission line would carry wind-generated power from Wyoming west and then south through Utah to Las Vegas, Nev.

The Grand Valley is among the possible routes for the 600-kilovolt transmission line, although the preferred route takes it through only the very northwestern part of Colorado, passing close to Craig before turning west to the Utah line.

A decision on the final routing will be made in the environmental-review process.

The Obama administration on Wednesday said that a rapid-response team of federal agencies would “accelerate responsible and informed deployment” of several projects, TransWest Express among them.

TransWest Express is a wholly owned affiliate of the Anschutz Corp., a privately held company based in Denver.

The selection highlights the importance of the TransWest Express project, as well as its environmental benefits and its ability to create and sustain competitive, cost-effective energy for consumers in California and other states, Bill Miller, president and CEO of TransWest Express, said in a statement.

The rapid-response team is “another thoughtful and strategic example of how the federal government can further the country’s energy and land-use goals by supporting private investment and addressing the regulatory complexities associated with large infrastructure development,” Miller said in the statement.

The company now is completing its draft environmental impact study and a record of decision is anticipated by about 2013.

Construction is expected to take about three years and require as many as 1,550 workers at its peak, officials said.


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