U.S. approves major transmission line from Wyoming to Utah

High voltage transmission lines. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

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May 26 (Reuters) – The Biden administration on Thursday gave final approval to a 416-mile electric transmission line that will help connect more wind and solar power to the western United States grid.

The move allows PacifiCorp, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N), to begin building the line, which will run from southwest Wyoming through Colorado to central Utah.

The project’s approval is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to fast-track the approval of clean energy projects on public lands to both create jobs and address climate change.

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America’s antiquated network of transmission cables and the bureaucratic difficulty of authorizing massive modern projects is widely seen as an impediment to the expansion of renewable energy sources that must be connected to population centers, sometimes across long distances.

“Approval of large-scale transmission projects like this is critical to bringing renewable energy online,” Tracy Stone-Manning, director of the Bureau of Land Management, said in a statement.

The Gateway South project is part of PacifiCorp’s larger plan to add 2,000 miles of new transmissions to Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah to improve reliability and enable access to low-cost renewable energy resources .

The utility plans to add thousands of megawatts of wind and solar power over the next two decades while retiring most of its 22 coal-fired plants. The company has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 74% below 2005 levels by 2030.

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Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Aurora Ellis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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