TWE Project: benefits for the country and local communities

The TransWest Express Transmission Project will deliver significant national and local benefits, including creating and sustaining jobs and helping utilities minimize consumers’ electricity costs.

Economic benefits

TransWest will pay property taxes in every state and county that the transmission line traverses, augmenting state and local government budgets. TransWest anticipates it will pay property taxes based upon the assessed value of the fair market value of the TWE Project. Based on the route and assuming the counties' average tax rates and 2017 mill levies, TransWest estimates nearly $900 million will be paid in property taxes over the initial project life, as outlined below.

  Estimated cost Estimated property taxes paid over 50 years
Wyoming $1.19 billion $260 million
Colorado $118 million $31 million
Utah $1.32 billion $477 million
Nevada $365.3 million $123 million
Total $2.9 billion $891 million

In addition, TransWest anticipates the purchase and delivery of construction materials, substation equipment and transmission towers will generate about $113.5 million in total sales and use tax revenue.

  Estimated sales/use taxes paid
Wyoming $53.5 million
Colorado $1.8 million
Utah $47 million
Nevada $11.2 million
Total $113.5 million

These millions of dollars in tax revenues do not include the millions in sales/use tax payments that may be spurred by other existing or new businesses investing in new equipment or services to support the construction of this transmission line, or the additional sales/use/lodging tax revenues spurred by workers staying in local hotels, campgrounds and RV parks.

Environmental benefits

The TWE Project will deliver enough clean, sustainable energy to power more than 1.8 million homes in densely populated areas of the country, thereby reducing the need for these regions to depend on fossil-fuel electric generating sources. Among the environmental benefits of the TWE Project and the wind electricity it will carry:

  • Reduce greenhouse-gas emissions equivalent to taking 1.5 million cars from the road.
  • Reduce greenhouse-gas emissions equivalent to shutting down 1,062 MW of coal generation.

Employment opportunities

Thousands of direct, indirect and induced jobs are anticipated to be created by the construction of the TWE Project transmission line, terminals, substations and related infrastructure. The number of jobs will vary depending on the location, type of activity and duration of the activity, but in general, the jobs will follow the transmission line as it is built.

Labor unions are partners in the TWE Project. The IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) has entered into a Partnering Agreement with TransWest. In addition, the IUOE (International Union of Operating Engineers) has entered into a Partnering Agreement with TransWest.

Project benefits


  • Creates construction jobs
  • Boosts demand for local products and services during construction
  • Provides additional local tax revenues
  • Increases stability, capacity, reliability of entire western power grid
  • Gets more energy to the highest demand centers, freeing up more energy elsewhere
  • Facilitates delivery of more renewable energy, contributing to regional and national emissions reduction goals
  • Provides California, Nevada and Arizona utilities with access to the west's highest-capacity, most cost-effective renewable energy supplies
  • Offers opportunity for interconnection with the Intermountain Power Project's Southern Transmission System (HVDC technology) near Delta, Utah.

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In the news

"To accelerate the creation of a clean energy economy, we will double our capacity to generate alternative sources of energy like wind, solar and biofuels over the next three years. We'll begin to build a new electricity grid that lay down more than 3,000 miles of transmission lines to convey this new energy from coast to coast."

- President Barack Obama, weekly address, Jan. 24, 2009