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New Power Project Will Run Lines Through Southern Nevada

Two power line projects that won federal approval Tuesday will give a big capacity boost to the Western energy grid, including power for up to 1 million homes from what's on track to become the biggest wind farm in the U.S., and will involve land in southern Nevada.

The TransWest Express project will help California meet its goal of getting half its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 by carrying up to 3,000 megawatts from the Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farm in southern Wyoming. The new power lines would span 728 miles from the wind farm to southern Nevada, crossing northwest Colorado and all of Utah along the way.

The approvals to cross U.S. Bureau of Land Management land cap almost a decade of federal planning. About 60 percent of the project crosses BLM lands; the power lines also will need to span a patchwork of private, state and other federal lands.

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Not all were pleased with the latest project moving ahead. They will destroy wilderness-quality lands in northwestern Colorado and eastern Nevada and disrupt habitat for the greater sage grouse, The Wilderness Society said in a release.