Energy Vision 2020: Repowering ‘rehearsal’ Will Identify Efficiencies for Future Installations

October 03, 2018

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CARBON COUNTY, Wyo. — As a part of the company’s Energy Vision 2020 initiative, last week Rocky Mountain Power began testing the process of replacing wind turbine nacelles and blades at the Seven Mile Hill wind farm.

Rocky Mountain Power’s Energy Vision 2020 initiative includes a repowering plan to upgrade its existing wind fleet with larger blades, higher capacity generators, improved control systems and other new technology.

“The ‘rehearsal’ will identify efficiencies in the repowering process which is scheduled to begin in 2019,” said Rita Meyer, Rocky Mountain Power Wyoming vice president. “This includes identifying potential delivery, offloading, staging, and installation challenges that, once refined, will allow for smooth project implementation.”

The upgraded turbines will continue to use existing towers and foundations, and all upgrades will be completed within existing project footprints. The systemwide repowering is planned to be complete by the end of 2020.

Benefits of the turbine upgrades include:

  • Increasing energy production of the wind projects by 17 to 39 percent
  • Extending the life of the projects by 10 years
  • Providing improved power quality and voltage support to increase the reliability of the transmission system

In addition, completing the turbine upgrades by 2020 will qualify the wind projects for federal production tax credits for another 10 years. These investments in repowering (approximately $700 million in Wyoming) will help diversify the state’s economy, create jobs and add to the tax base.

Rocky Mountain Power’s Energy Vision 2020 project also adds three new wind projects in Wyoming that will provide a total 1,150 MW of new wind energy capacity and add a new 140-mile high-voltage transmission line, also in Wyoming. 

These projects are expected to:

  • Create between 1,100 and 1,600 construction jobs in Wyoming and more than 100 full-time positions
  • Add approximately $120 million in tax revenue from construction
  • Bring significant post-construction annual tax revenues starting at approximately $11 million in 2021 and growing to $14 million annually by 2024

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