Montana-to-Washington Transmission System Upgrade Project (DOE/EIS 0484)
Spokane County, Washington
Nez Perce, Clearwater, and Shoshone Counties, Idaho
Mineral, Sanders, Missoula, and Powell Counties, Montana
In 2010, BPA conducted a Network Open Season (NOS) process to help manage its queue of requests for long-term transmission service. During the NOS process, utilities and power generators (including wind generators and power marketers) requested the use of BPA's transmission system to transmit their power. To determine if BPA could offer the service requested, BPA studied the transmission system and identified where existing capacity was available and where the system needed upgrades. In conducting these studies, BPA took into consideration reliability standards and criteria established by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC). Utilities are required to meet these standards and criteria when planning new facilities.
The studies found that there was not enough available transmission capacity to accommodate all requests for long-term service from BPA's Garrison substation in Western Montana to load centers west of the Cascades and to market hubs serving the entire Northwest power market. Wind generation facilities built and proposed in the region have greatly increased the amount of planned generation in Montana seeking load and markets in the Northwest. As a result, BPA is proposing several reinforcements on BPA's transmission system at the Garrison Substation, Hot Springs Substation, Bell Substation, Dworshak Substation, and on the Hatwai Substation (see vicinity map). Additionally, reconductoring is being proposed on four sections totaling 12 miles on the Dworshak-Taft No. 1 500-kilovolt (kV) line and a new series compensation substation is being proposed along the Garrison-Taft No. 1 & No. 2 500-kV lines, both of which would allow BPA to accommodate the requests for transmission service in this area. These reinforcements would increase the firm east-to-west transfer capability of the West of Garrison and West of Hatwai paths by primarily increasing the series compensation in existing 500-kV lines in the area.
To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, BPA has decided to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). As a federal agency, BPA follows procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act. Two alternatives will be studied: to pursue the reinforcement of the transmission facilities listed above or a "no action" alternative in which BPA would continue with current operation and maintenance practices. The EIS will describe anticipated impacts to natural and human resources and include mitigation measures that would enable BPA to avoid or minimize impacts. During this process, BPA will be working with federal, state and local agencies, landowners, interest groups, and tribes.
BPA recently conducted public meetings to gather comments on the scope of this proposed project, and the scoping comment period closed on July 2, 2012. Comments that were received can be seen in their entirety on the Montana-to-Washington Transmission System Upgrade Project comments page.
For further information on this project, please contact:
Andrew M. Montaño, Environmental Project Manager, Bonneville Power Administration - KEC-4, P.O. Box 3621, Portland, Oregon, 97208-3621; direct telephone number 503-230-4145; toll-free telephone number 1-800-282-3713; fax number 503-230-5699; or e-mail email@example.com.
Amit Sinha, Project Manager, Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-TPP3, P.O. Box 61409, Vancouver, WA 98666-1409; toll-free telephone 800-282-3713; direct telephone number 360-619-6178 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project Update Letter - State of Montana (28Kb pdf) (05/25/12)
Project Update Map - State of Montana - Miller Creek (59Kb pdf) (05/21/12)
Project Update Map - State of Montana - St. Regis (59Kb pdf) (05/21/12)
Project Update Letter - State of Idaho (29Kb pdf) (05/18/12)
Project Update Letter - State of Washington (59Kb pdf) (05/18/12)
Project Update Map - State of Idaho (731Kb pdf) (05/16/12)
Project Update Map - State of Washington (908Kb pdf) (05/16/12)
Public Meeting Information Posters (1.3MB pdf) (May 2012)
Project Fact Sheet (569Kb pdf) (May 2012)
Letter to the Public (35Kb pdf) (04/27/12)
Comment Form (56Kb pdf) (04/27/12)
Notice of Intent (41Kb pdf) (04/23/12)
Vicinity Map (314Kb pdf) (04/17/12)