Electric Grid. (stock photo)

The US Department of the Interior has given the green light for construction of roughly USD-3-billion (EUR 2.82bn) TransWest Express (TWE) renewable power transmission line in the western part of the country.

The interior department signed its record of decision (ROD), which is the final step for agencies in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process, on Tuesday, December 13th, 2016.

The ROD permits issuing a right-of-way grant for the project on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which represents about 60% of the 730-mile (1,175 km) route.

The high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) TWE system will extend from south-central Wyoming to the site of a potential interconnection near Delta in Utah. Then it will reach the Marketplace Hub near Hoover Dam in Southern Nevada, which provides interconnections to the California, Nevada and Arizona grids.

The system will add 3 GW of “backbone” transmission capacity between the Desert Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions, the press statement says.

Bill Miller, president and CEO of project developer TransWest Express LLC, said that this transmission line “will allow California and other Desert Southwest utilities to directly access high-capacity Wyoming wind to balance and diversify their generation portfolios in a cost-effective manner.”

The construction process for this project is expected to create up to 1,500 direct jobs each year for an estimated three-year period.

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