The Western Area Power Administration received a request from Grande Prairie Wind LLC, a subsidiary of Geronimo Wind Energy LLC d/b/a Geronimo Energy LLC, to interconnect the proposed Grande Prairie Wind Farm to Western’s power transmission system.
The proposed interconnection point would be on Western’s existing Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV transmission line, about seven miles east of the town of O’Neill in Holt County, Nebraska. On Jan. 16, the Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the interconnection of the project was published in the Federal Register. After considering the environmental impacts, Western said in a notice to be published in the April 28 Federal Register that it has decided to execute an interconnection agreement with Grande Prairie Wind to interconnect the project to its transmission system and to construct, own, and operate a new switchyard adjacent to its Fort Thompson to Grand Island 345-kV line to handle that interconnection.
Grande Prairie Wind proposes to construct and operate a 400-MW facility in Holt County in northern Nebraska. The project area would occupy about 54,250 acres in portions of Willowdale, Antelope, Grattan, Iowa, Scott, and Steel Creek townships. Grande Prairie Wind proposes to build up to 266 wind turbines, up to 85 miles of access roads, an underground electrical power collection system, collector substations, a step-up substation, a 14-mile overhead transmission line, meteorological towers, maintenance buildings, and other associated ancillary facilities. Grande Prairie Wind proposes to begin construction as early as spring 2015. The life of the project is anticipated to be a minimum of 20 years.
Said Western in the April 28 notice: “Western’s decision to grant this interconnection request satisfies the agency’s statutory mission and Grande Prairie Wind’s objectives while minimizing harm to the environment. Full implementation of this decision is contingent upon Grande Prairie Wind’s obtaining all other applicable permits and approvals as well as executing an interconnection agreement in accordance with Western’s Tariff.”
Western is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Energy that markets and transmits wholesale electrical power through an integrated 17,000-circuit mile, high-voltage transmission system across 15 central and western states.