Zephyr Power Transmission Project—
A transmission project to connect Wyoming wind to the Southwestern U.S.
Lines are conceptual and do not indicate actual routes
Project at a Glance
- Location: Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada
The Zephyr Power Transmission Project is a proposed transmission line to connect the unique Pathfinder Renewable Wind Project, a leader in responsible wind development in eastern Wyoming, with communities in the southwestern U. S. that have a demand for clean, reliable and affordable energy. Together, Zephyr and Pathfinder are the perfect combination of harnessing an abundant renewable resource and emission-free transmission lines dedicated to moving that wind energy.
A variation of the project would involve a green energy initiative for the Los Angeles basin utilities that would link one of nation’s largest wind farms to one of world’s biggest energy storage facilities. The project would be the first of its kind in the U.S.
Zephyr Project facts
- 3,000-megawatt capacity – enough to power 1.4 million homes
- Route to maximize use of existing corridors
- 500,000-volt high-voltage direct current line – highly efficient for moving energy long distances
- AC/DC converter stations at each end
- Transmission line alternatives –
- Approximately 850-mile line from Chugwater, Wyo., to the Eldorado Valley, just south of Las Vegas
- Approximately 500-mile like from Chugwater, Wyo., to a proposed compressed air energy storage system near Delta, Utah, where the wind energy would be stored for later dispatch and then carried Southwest over an existing transmission line
Zephyr will deliver several benefits
- Meet southwestern states’ renewable energy goals. Zephyr’s high-quality Wyoming wind generation will give southwestern states access to 3,000 megawatts of clean, renewable energy.
- Keep energy costs low. Connecting 3,000 megawatts of Wyoming wind to the southwestern U.S. could result in $600 million in savings to ratepayers in California markets.
- Balance other sources of wind power. When the wind isn’t blowing in the southwest, it is blowing in Wyoming. When you connect the two, you get a balanced system that works better.
- Create renewable energy with a minimal footprint. The project’s wind farm sponsors have established the Pathfinder Ranches in central Wyoming, some 700,000 acres of natural land that is now protected from future development.
- Deliver economic impact. Landowner payments, tax payments, and construction jobs all will contribute to the local economy.
- Minimize risk. Development risks are borne by DATC, and shared with wind generators, not retail customers.
- Contribute to energy independence. Zephyr will mark a significant contribution to America’s national energy independence goals.
DATC has prepared our environmental work to start the NEPA process but has put that work on hold pending procurement activity in California to contract for wind offtake with California utility customers. We are looking forward to the new IRP process and the policy objectives that would hopefully bring out-of-state renewables to California.
DATC is committed to minimizing Zephyr’s impact on land, ecosystems, wildlife and communities. The proposed route for the Zephyr line will maximize use of existing designated corridors, and avoid populated areas, critical wildlife habitats, military bases, and other environmentally or culturally sensitive areas.