Black Hills Energy Requests Approval for Ready Wyoming Electric Transmission Expansion Project

BHE 2-17-22

Black Hills Energy submitted a request to the Wyoming Public Service Commission (WPSC) on Feb. 15, 2022, seeking approval for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to construct an estimated 260-mile electric transmission expansion project known as Ready Wyoming.

As proposed, the transmission expansion project would provide customers long-term price stability and greater flexibility as power markets develop in the Western states, the company stated in its CPCN application. If approved, the project would interconnect Black Hills Energy’s Cheyenne, eastern Wyoming and South Dakota electric transmission systems.

“We’re excited by this opportunity to provide long-term benefits for our customers,” said Mark Stege, vice president of Wyoming Operations. “Ready Wyoming will allow us to meet our customers’ energy needs today and well into the future, while enhancing the resiliency of our electric system and expanding access to power markets and renewable energy resources.”

The company’s Wyoming electric utility, Cheyenne Light Fuel and Power (CLFP), currently serves approximately 44,000 electric customers while operating and maintaining 1,300 miles of electric distribution and 58 miles of electric transmission lines. As proposed, the Ready Wyoming expansion project, estimated at $260 million, includes one new substation, two replacement substations, four expanded substations, three new 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines, and two new 115 kV transmission lines. If approved, construction of the project would proceed in multiple phases or segments spanning 2023 through 2025.

“During the building phase of Ready Wyoming and beyond, positive economic impact is expected in the greater Cheyenne area and would extend throughout the state,” stated Stege. “In a study completed by the University of Wyoming Center for Economic and Business Analysis, Ready Wyoming would support nearly 1,400 jobs during construction resulting in over $100 million in total value added. This expanded transmission system would also support economic development by aligning with Wyoming’s efforts to attract and retain high load factor customers such as blockchain and data centers.”