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County News & Beyond Gasification continued from page 9

tigations of the sites are under way, and an announcement of a final site will be made once all investigations are complete. The High Plains Gasification-Advanced Technology Center is being developed jointly by GE Energy and the University of Wyoming. The agreement signed in October outlines the framework for the joint development, design, construction and operation of the facility. The university will own the facility and be responsible for its operation.

The proposed center would consist of a small-scale gasification system that would allow UW and GE Energy researchers to develop and validate advanced coal gasification technology solutions for Powder River Basin and other Wyoming coals. The plant is expected to allow engineers to gain experience in advanced coal gasification processes, and will provide students an opportunity to learn about coal gasification. For information on the project, visit www.uwyo.edu/ge.

Corridor continued from front page

size. cerns would be properly addressed. “We understand that there are According to Hymas, the need for the updated transmission going to be concerns. That’s why we have these meetings, to find system is at a critical point. In order for Rocky Mountain Power out about local issues and concerns so that they can be considered and Idaho Power, who are jointly undertaking the massive project, before a final decision on the route is made,” Hymas explained. to provide for future electrical demands of their consumers, the Hymas explained that studies are currently underway that will new system has to be constructed. Explaining things on a more include environmental studies, including land surveys, documenlocal level, Hymas stated that total electrical usage by the utility’s tation of cultural and environmental conditions and soil borings. Wyoming customers, which includes consumers in the Glenrock The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service will and Douglas areas, will have increased by about 21% over a five also study the proposed route of the transmission project and will year period between 2005 and 2010. A major transmission up- also offer plenty of opportunity for landowners and the general grade hasn’t been undertaken in the region in more than 20 years. public to voice their concern. The BLM draft Environmental ImThe current system already runs at or near capacity under certain pact Statement will be issued in August of 2009. After that, there conditions. On average, residential customers in the company’s will be a 90-day comment period before the next step in the proservice area are using about 25 percent more electricity today than cess. they did 20 years ago. This makes the need for increased transmisThe law is very specific when dealing with the rights of landsion availability more clear when you consider the many products owners when obtaining easements on private land. According to that require electricity that were not around or used as much 20 Hymas, landowners can expect Rocky Mountain Power to follow years ago, including computers, big screen TVs, central air con- guidelines set for purchasing the right to cross private land with ditioning, etc. the project. The company will negotiate with landowners, and ofThe March 16th meeting began as an open house, with fer fair market value for the easements RMP will need to complete landowners in the area viewing maps of the proposed eastern and the project. Landowners may also obtain their own property value western corridor areas that initiate near Glenrock. The proposed assessments and negotiate with the company until they come to a eastern route, labeled 1E, consists of a 230-kilovolt line that fair and equitable agreement. would begin at the Windstar substation and take an easterly route The Gateway West project is still very much in the planning and to Aeolus substation, near Medicine Bow. The proposed western permitting stages, and a target date of 2014 is set for completion. route, labeled 1W, includes a set of new 230kv and 500kv lines Rocky Mountain Power urges landowners and area residents to and upgrades to an existing 230kv line. The 1W segment would visit the Gateway West project Web site to learn more about the take a more westerly route to the Aeolus substation. The transmis- project, keep up-to-date on its progress and view project maps. sion line would then head west across southern Wyoming and into The Web site can be accessed at the following link: www.gateIdaho. Also discussed was an alternate eastern corridor that would waywestproject.com. The company also encourages the public to run along Ft. Fetterman Road. Rocky Mountain Power believes provide input about the Gateway West project by phone, e-mail both an eastern and western route between the Windstar and Aeo- or letters. All comments will be shared with the BLM. Contact lus substations are needed, in part because of the large amount of information is available on the project Web site. “The information new electrical generation, including wind projects, under devel- submitted by landowners, area residents and others will be used opment and being considered in the area. After the open house, by the companies and federal agencies to make a final decision company representatives presented information to the landowners on where the transmission lines will be located. An exact route about the Gateway West project and the line routes being consid- has yet to be determined. We are open to feedback that will assist ered and then had a question and answer period. us in determining the best possible route for the project and we Landowners voiced their concerns about the impact such a proj- continue to encourage public participation in the process,” stated ect would have on their land, the environment, and their pocket- Jeff Hymas. books. Rocky Mountain Power assured landowners that these conPage 10 Sunday, March 29, 2009 The Glenrock Bird

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