Thursday, November 1, 2012

Industrial Growth Challenges Electric System Expansion

The expanding natural gas and oil drilling industry in the Uintah Basin is resulting in new requests for electric service from Rocky Mountain Power. The potential electrical demand of these industrial customers could triple the need for electricity supplies in the area. The expansion of this industry could create a need to construct additional electric transmission and distribution facilities to serve the region.

The needs of all Rocky Mountain Power customers, industrial and residential, will be addressed as this growth continues in coming years.

Transmission lines transport large amounts of electricity from generating sources to regions where electricity is needed. They are typically connected to a substation, which converts the higher transmission voltage to a lower voltage for distribution to customers. The distribution lines carry electricity from the substation to the customer.

If studies determine that new transmission lines are needed, local permitting approvals will need to be obtained from the Bureau of Land Management, Tribal authorities, county and city governments before construction can begin. Negotiations with private land owners will also be conducted.

One of the hallmarks of this process is that large customers whose service needs require major expansion of the transmission and distribution system pays their fair share of those costs. This protects existing customers from unfair impact to their prices because these facilities are so expensive to approve and construct. Rules for line extensions on the local distribution system have been developed over the years to provide protection and fairness to existing and new customers. Vernal Express