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St. Louis-based Great Basin Transmission LLC (GBT) has launched an open season to receive proposals for the purchase of long-term, point-to-point transmission rights on the Southwest Intertie Project (SWIP). Successful bidders in the open season will secure firm transmission rights to support financing of new generation resources and to allow existing generation resources to transport their output to attractive liquid markets in the West.

The SWIP is a proposed above-ground, 500 kV alternating current transmission line stretching over 500 miles between southern Idaho and southern Nevada. As much as 1,850 MW of north-to-south transmission capacity and 1,850 MW of south-to-north transmission capacity will be available for purchase during the open season.

The SWIP will provide a new energy pathway connecting the existing high-voltage transmission infrastructure near Twin Falls, Idaho, and the existing systems in northern Nevada and the Las Vegas area. It will provide direct interconnection and/or viable access to multiple transmission providers in the West, which may include Arizona Public Service, Idaho Power, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Nevada Power, PacifiCorp, Salt River Project, Sierra Pacific Power, Southern California Edison and the Western Area Power Administration.

The SWIP is being developed in phases. The first phase, which connects southern Nevada with northern Nevada, is expected to begin construction in 2009 and achieve commercial operation as early as 2010. The next phase, which reaches to southern Idaho, is expected to achieve commercial operation as early as 2011.

GBT is developing the SWIP in response to the growing needs of the Southwest and the Northwest. The SWIP will provide economic, environmental and reliability benefits for the West. The SWIP will also provide an important pathway for renewable energy resources to reach major load centers.

GBT will hold a conference for potential bidders in Las Vegas on Nov. 18, to provide a description of the SWIP and key information about the open season process.

SOURCE: Great Basin Transmission, LLC

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