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The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is taking comments through Sept. 18 on Rocky Mountain Power's request to build a 345 kV transmission line in Bannock and Oneida counties as well as a new substation in Downey.

The transmission line portion of the project would extend from an existing substation southwest of the Salt Lake City International Airport, north to the new substation at Downey.

Rocky Mountain Power, which serves customers in southeastern Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, claims the expansion is needed to meet "significant increases in retail load" and to enhance reliability in the entire region.

The line would also provide increased transfer capability of power between the company's eastern (Oregon, Washington and northern California) and western (Idaho, Utah and Wyoming) control areas. If approved, the project would accommodate the delivery of power from the Goshen wind project in Bingham County as well as future power projects the company anticipates to build in Idaho and Wyoming.

Rocky Mountain Power has secured franchise agreements permitting construction within public thoroughfares and has applied with local government agencies for land-use authorizations. The company estimates the project will increase its revenue requirement from Idaho customers by about 3%, which can be applied in a future rate case.

According to testimony the company provided the commission, the existing transmission capacity from southeastern Idaho into Utah is fully utilized, and no additional capacity can be made available without the addition of transmission lines.

SOURCE: Idaho Public Utilities Commission

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