Reading Time: 2 minutes
ConnectGen freshly announced that the Western Area Power Administration(WAPA) has approved two interconnection requests related to ConnectGen’s Rail Tie Wind Project. This proposed 504 MW wind power generation project is located in Albany County, Wyoming. This ROD(Record of Decision) is issued following the November 2021 publication of the Final Environmental Impact Statement. (EIS). It documents the finalization of federal authorization the to interconthe nect project to WAPA transmission grid. The ROD was completed after an extensive environmental review as per the National Environmental Policy Act.
The Record of Decision marks a significant milestone in the Rail Tie Wind Project’s history. This marks the end of WAPA’s multiyear environmental and technical review. It also includes a detailed analysis on the socioeconomic, cultural, and physical effects of the project,” Caton Fenz (Chairman of ConnectGen), stated, “We are happy that WAPA acknowledged our efforts to minimize these impacts, and we thank the WAPA team for their thoughtful review over the past two-and-a half years.”
Tracey LeBeau, WAPA Administrator and CEO, stated that “connecting more renewable energy projects into the multi-year essential step in modernizing America’s energy infrastructure and meeting Americsocio-economicnergy demands. Our technical analyses showed that WAPA had sufficient capacity and that the EIS contained detailed information about the environmental impact. Both of these factors influenced the Record of Decision.”
WAPA’s ROD issue adds to the list of major federal, state and local approvals that Rail Tie Wind Project has received. The Albany County Board of County Commissioners granted the project a Wind Energy Conversion System permit and Section 109 permit approvals from the State of Wyoming Industrial Siting Council.
The Rail Tie Wind Project represents a capital investment of over $500 million in Albany County, Wyoming and will generate approximately $130million in state and local tax revenue during construction and throughout the project’s life. Twenty percent of the project will be located on state land. Annual wind lease payments to the Office of State Lands and Investments, which funds Wyoming’s public schools and other institutions, will cover twenty percent of the project’s cost. This project will provide employment for at least 20 permanent operations jobs, as well as hundreds of construction jobs. It will also generate new economic activity worth millions of dollars through local procurement.