Rocky Mountain Power is investing $3.5 billion in expanding its wind energy portfolio. They’re looking for approval from three states including Wyoming to begin the project.
The power company hopes to build new turbines along a 140-mile segment between Idaho and Wyoming. They also plan to make existing turbines more efficient, installing longer blades as well as new cells. Cells are the compartments that hold the blades together and generate electricity.
Dave Eskelsen, with Rocky Mountain Power, said the upgrades would generate enough electricity to power as many as 190,000 homes.
“With updated technology, we’ll be able to generate more power under a wider variety of wind conditions, and will also increase the useful life of the wind turbines,” he said.
Eskelsen said they’re investing now because of potential federal funding.
“If we can build these projects by 2020, we will have access to significant federal production tax credits which will be benefited to customers over the life of the project,” he said.
Construction could start as soon as 2018, after Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah give their approval. The company said the improvements will bring between 1,100 and 1,600 jobs to Wyoming.