The Western Area Power Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Energy, on Oct. 13 released a Finding of No Significant Impact and a final Environmental Assessment for a proposal to interconnect a 100-MW photovoltaic solar facility adjacent to Western’s existing Midway Substation in El Paso County, Colorado.
The Front Range-Midway Solar LLC project is located on private, county, and federally-owned lands. The Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), a federal power marketing agency, is the lead federal agency for the project for the purposes of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review. Front Range-Midway Solar LLC is a private solar development company.
WAPA’s purpose and need is to consider and respond to an interconnection request from Midway Solar in accordance with its Open Access Transmission Service Tariff and the Federal Power Act. The Open Access Transmission Service Tariff is submitted to and accepted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
This is 100-MW photovoltaic solar facility would help meet Colorado’s renewable energy standard (RES). The state of Colorado passed the RES in 2004, which requires electricity providers to obtain a minimum percentage of their power from renewable energy sources.
This PV solar facility is to be located south of Fountain in El Paso County, and would interconnect at WAPA’s Midway Substation. The Project Study Area (approximately 1,085 acres) is located between Interstate-25 and Fort Carson US Army Installation, just north of the Midway Landfill.
Midway Solar would make the connection to the WAPA substation with a gen-tie transmission line approximately 0.85 mile in length. Midway Solar has also submitted an interconnection request to Public Service Co. of Colorado (PSCo), which has a substation located adjacent to and east of WAPA’s Midway Substation. However, in order to connect the proposed project with the PSCo substation, Midway Solar’s gen-tie line to the PSCo substation would likely cross WAPA-owned land.