ConnectGen announced today that the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) approving two interconnection requests associated with ConnectGen’s Rail Tie Wind Project, a proposed 504 MW wind energy generation project located in Albany County, Wyoming. The ROD follows the November 2021 release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and documents the completion of the federal authorization to interconnect the project to the WAPA transmission grid, which was concluded after an extensive environmental review per the National Environmental Policy Act.
“The Record of Decision is a major milestone for the Rail Tie Wind Project. It marks the completion of WAPA’s multi-year environmental and technical review, including a detailed analysis of the physical, biological, cultural, and socioeconomic effects of the project,” Caton Fenz, Chief Executive Officer of ConnectGen, said. “We are pleased that WAPA recognized our considerable efforts to minimize these effects, and we thank the WAPA staff for their efforts and thoughtful review over the past two and a half years.”
“Connecting more renewable energy projects to the grid is a critical step in modernizing America’s energy infrastructure and meeting our nation’s growing energy needs,” said WAPA Administrator and CEO Tracey LeBeau. “Our technical analyses found available capacity on WAPA’s system and the comprehensive analysis in the EIS provided environmental impact information, both of which informed the interconnection Record of Decision.”
WAPA’s ROD issuance adds to the roster of major federal, state, and local approvals obtained by the Rail Tie Wind Project. The project previously received a Wind Energy Conversion System permit from the Albany County Board of County Commissioners as well as Section 109 permit approval from the State of Wyoming Industrial Siting Council.
The Rail Tie Wind Project will represent a capital investment of more than $500 million in Albany County and the State of Wyoming, and will generate approximately $130 million in state and local tax revenues during construction and over the life of the project. Twenty percent of the project is sited on state land, and annual wind lease payments to the Office of State Lands and Investments will fund Wyoming’s public schools and institutions. The project will support at least 20 permanent operations jobs as well as hundreds of jobs during construction and will generate millions of dollars of new local economic activity through the procurement of goods and services in the area.