Montana, Wyoming Wind Power Sought for $3B Lines

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A Canadian company is seeking wind power developers to move electricity along a pair of $3 billion transmission lines in Montana and Wyoming, potentially spurring a major increase in renewable power exported from the Rockies to the Southwest.

The two lines would move 3,000 megawatts of power from each state. That's more than three times as much wind power as Wyoming currently produces, and eight times what Montana has produced.

Calgary-based TransCanada says the lines would extend more than 1,000 miles each to the Eldorado Valley near Las Vegas. They would connect to markets in California, Nevada and Arizona. TransCanada has been planning the lines for several years, but earlier this year had delayed its search for potential customers.

A Montana official said the announcement of next month's "open season" auctions for potential customers marks a major turning point for the projects.

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