E-mail Alert
IBEW supports construction of 3,000 MW
TransWest Express Transmission Project

WASHINGTON, D.C., and DENVER, Feb. 27, 2012 – Demonstrating a shared commitment to creating thousands of American energy jobs and strengthening the nation’s electrical infrastructure, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and TransWest Express LLC have signed a partnering agreement for the development and construction of the TransWest Express Transmission Project.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers TransWest Express

The TWE Project is a proposed 725-mile, 600 kV, direct current transmission line that will deliver cost-effective renewable energy from high-capacity wind farms in Wyoming to urban areas that need more renewable power in California, Nevada and Arizona. With 3,000 megawatts of capacity, the TWE Project will be one of the largest U.S. transmission systems to be built in decades, providing an important electrical system upgrade for the western U.S. power grid. It will provide enough clean and sustainable power to serve nearly 2 million households.

Under the partnering agreement, TransWest has committed to a project-specific Project Labor Agreement for the construction of the TWE Project and together with IBEW seeks to create a new model of cooperation between all construction-related parties and local communities.

For example, IBEW will deploy green energy training programs and work in partnership with local training and employment providers to help local people gain the necessary pre-employment skills for the construction and operation of the TWE Project. IBEW also will use the Helmets to Hardhats Program to recruit returning veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and it will implement its Code of Excellence program, which demands the highest level of productivity and professionalism from all the members working on the TWE Project. The company and the union will also work with local representatives to mitigate the impact of a construction project of this magnitude on communities.

“The TWE Project provides the missing link to many clean energy initiatives – building the transmission lines that bring renewable energy to densely populated areas. We look forward to working with TransWest to create good jobs for communities while giving residents the skills for the future and boosting economic demand in those areas,” says IBEW President Edwin D. Hill. “As leaders in building and operating the critical systems Americans rely on every moment of every day, IBEW locals in the Pacific and Mountain West states are ready for the opportunity to get this project started and completed as soon as possible.”

“More than 1,500 direct construction jobs will be created at peak each year during the approximately 3-year construction of the TWE Project, in addition to thousands of indirect jobs because of the significant demand for materials and services as we build two major substations, two AC/DC converter stations, and 725 miles of line in four states,” says Bill Miller, President and CEO of TransWest Express LLC. “We look forward to a productive partnership with IBEW as the TWE Project delivers economic, environmental and electrical system benefits regionally and nationally.”

The current schedule anticipates construction activities will begin in 2014. Approximately 67% of the TWE Project’s proposed route crosses federal land between the northern terminal in Carbon County, Wyoming, and southern terminal in Boulder City, Nevada. Therefore, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, an Environmental Impact Statement is being prepared by Bureau of Land Management and Western Area Power Administration as joint lead agencies, along with multiple other federal, state and county entities participating as Cooperating Agencies. TransWest filed a right-of-way application in December 2008. A Notice of Intent to prepare the EIS was published Jan. 4, 2011; a Draft EIS is anticipated in mid-2012.

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The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers represents approximately 725,000 members who work in a wide variety of fields, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government. More information: www.ibew.org.

TransWest Express LLC is a wholly owned affiliate of The Anschutz Corporation, a privately held company based in Denver. More information: www.transwestexpress.net.