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LS Power affiliate Great Basin Transmission has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), a power marketing administration of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Under the MOU, Great Basin and WAPA are moving forward with further detailed evaluation and consideration of a potential partnership to develop the Southwest Intertie Project (SWIP) under WAPA authority in Section 402 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The SWIP is a 500-mile, 500 kV line that will extend from southern Idaho through eastern Nevada to the Las Vegas area. The SWIP will help unleash the significant renewable resource potential that exists within Nevada and other parts of the western U.S.

The SWIP is in an advanced stage of development, with the ability to begin construction later this year - resulting in near-term and long-term jobs, significant economic benefits, and delivery of up to 2 GW of renewable energy to the grid. WAPA's participation in the SWIP is subject to final due diligence, negotiation and approval of definitive agreements between Great Basin and WAPA.

Great Basin is currently conducting an open-season process to sell long-term transmission capacity rights at negotiated rates. Initial indications of interest for transmission capacity by third parties have greatly exceeded the available capacity of the line.

Negotiations under the MOU do not impact Great Basin's current open season. However, if final agreements are reached with WAPA, project construction could start in the near-term while arrangements for the sale of capacity with third-party shippers are being finalized.

Proposals under the open season will be accepted until July 31. For more information, visit swipos.com.

SOURCE: LS Power


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