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, Bonneville Power Administration (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 project 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 and 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 held a series of public meetings to solicit comments on the scope of this proposed project in May through June, 2012. The scoping comment period closed on July 2, 2012; and, the comments that were received can be seen in their entirety at the 2012 scoping comments page..
In response to the comments received during scoping, BPA is considering several new substation site options not previously identified. Because this is a new addition to the original project proposal, we would like to hear from you about this new project development.
Please submit your comments on the proposal and potential impacts by October 31, 2013 so they may be considered in the draft EIS. When commenting, please refer to the
"Montana-to-Washington Transmission System Upgrade Project." Comments will be posted in their entirety on BPA's website at www.bpa.gov/comment.
|Bonneville Power Administration
Public Affairs - DKE-7
P.O. Box 14428
Portland, OR 97293-4428
|For environmental-related information, contact:
|Andrew M. Montaño, Environmental Project Manager
Bonneville Power Administration - KEC-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-3621
|For project information, contact:
|Amit Sinha, Project Manager
Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-TPP-3
P.O. Box 61409
Vancouver, WA 98666-1409
(All documents are in pdf format)
Project Fact Sheet - update (456 Kb) (08/23/2013)
Public Letter - update (78 Kb) (August 2013)
Comment Form (17 Kb) (08/23/2013)
Public Letter - update - Alberton, Montana (61 Kb) (08/01/2013)
Comment Form (17 Kb) (08/01/2013)
Public Letter - update - State of Montana (28 Kb) (05/25/2012)
Public Letter - update - State of Idaho (29 Kb) (05/18/2012)
Public Letter - update - State of Washington (59 Kb) (05/18/212)
Public Letter (35 Kb) (04/27/2012)
Federal Register Notice of Intent (200 Kb) (04/23/2012)