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Utility seeks expansion of wind power serving Utah, 2 other states

SALT LAKE CITY — Rocky Mountain Power is making regulatory filings in Utah and two other states seeking approval to expand the amount of wind power serving customers by 2020.

The expansion project is part of a $3.5 billion spending package that includes upgrading, or repowering the utility company's existing wind fleet with longer blades and upgraded technology, as well as the construction of a 140-mile segment of the Gateway West transmission line.

Company officials expect that the investment will add another 1,100 megawatts of new wind to its energy base.

“We are very excited to begin the stakeholder review process for these projects that will significantly increase the renewable energy that serves all our customers,” said Cindy A. Crane, Rocky Mountain Power's president and CEO.

"These investments will provide significant long-term benefits to our customers and bring substantial economic benefits to rural communities where the facilities will be located,” she said.

Most of the projects, dubbed Energy Vision 2020, are concentrated in Wyoming but will boost the amount of renewable energy available to Rocky Mountain Power's broader customer base, including Utah.

The expansion of wind power is expected to create between 1,100 and 1,600 construction jobs in Wyoming, add $120 million in tax revenue from construction and generate post construction annual tax revenues of $11 million in 2021 — growing to $14 million a year by 2024.

Rocky Mountain Power said it will submit the regulatory filings on Friday.