Meetings cover power line routes


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Colorado meetings on the TransWest Express power line are scheduled from 4–7 p.m. as follows:

• Jan. 26, Moffat County School District Administrative Building, 775 Yampa Ave., Craig

• Jan. 27, Northwestern Community College, Weiss Activity Center, 500 Kennedy Drive, Rangely

• Jan. 31, Central High School Library, 550 Warrior Way, Grand Junction

Area residents are being asked for input on the preferred routing of an extra-high-voltage power line that would cross northwest Colorado in delivering wind energy from south-central Wyoming to the Southwest.

The overhead transmission project is proposed by Denver-based TransWest Express LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Corp.

The Anschutz Corp. is led by billionaire Philip Anschutz, and its business interests include a giant Wyoming wind farm project that would ship power via the line.

As proposed the 600-kilovolt TransWest line would travel 725 miles and transmit up to 3,000 megawatts per year of electricity to southern Nevada to help meet anticipated increased demand in the Southwest.

Proposed alternative routes would cross federal, state and private land, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said Tuesday in a news release. That agency and the Western Area Power Administration are planning 23 public meetings along possible corridors.

In Colorado, the proposed route would bisect Moffat County north to south before heading to Utah along Moffat- Rio Blanco county line.

Another alternative route would somewhat track the state Highway 13 corridor from Wyoming to Rifle and then go roughly parallel to Interstate 70 to the Utah line. Various alternatives also could make use of routes more or less following U.S. Highway 40 west of Craig or state Highway 64 west of Meeker, as well as a route west of state Highway 139 near the Utah line.

The Western Area Power Administration, a power-marketing agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, proposes to partly fund and jointly own the $3 billion project using federal stimulus bill funds.

TransWest hopes to build the line by 2015. It expects the three-year construction project to create more than 1,000 jobs a year, according to its website.

The company says the project would supply power roughly equivalent to three-fourths of that used in Los Angeles. The project also is aimed at helping Southwestern states meet their own targets for consumption of renewable rather than conventional energy.

A public comment period runs through April 4. Comments may be submitted during open house meetings, e-mailed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or mailed to Bureau of Land Management, attention Sharon Knowlton, project manager, TransWest Express Project, P.O. Box 20678, 5353 Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, WY 82003.


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