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Montana-to-Washington Transmission System Upgrade Project (DOE/EA-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 requests to BPA 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 requested service, BPA studied the transmission system and identified where existing capacity was available and where the system needed upgrades to increase capacity. 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 areas west of the Cascades and to market hubs serving the entire Northwest power market.

    To enable BPA to respond to customer requests for transmission service, BPA proposed to upgrade some portions of BPA's transmission system in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. The project would involve upgrades at five existing BPA substations (Garrison and Hot Springs Substations in Montana, Dworshak and Hatwai Substations in Idaho, and Bell Substation in Washington), replacement of about 11.4 miles of electrical wire (conductor) along portions of BPA's existing Dworshak-Taft transmission line, improvements to about 25 miles of existing access roads, and the construction of a new substation in Montana (see Project Vicinity Map). The proposed new substation would be constructed along the BPA's existing Garrison-Taft transmission line. BPA evaluated three different locations for the substation - near St. Regis, Mineral County; near Miller Creek, Missoula County; and near Alberton, Missoula County).


    In September 2014, BPA was informed that most of the transmission service requested by customers was no longer needed. This change in circumstances eliminated almost all of the demand to increase available transmission capacity on this part of the system and the need for the M2W Project. Accordingly, after a thorough examination of its obligations and fiscal responsibilities, BPA has decided to no longer pursue the proposed M2W Project. BPA will not be conducting any further field studies for the M2W Project, will not issue a draft EIS for the M2W Project, and considers its NEPA review process complete. The public was notified that the project was canceled by letter on April 19, 2015 (see letter posted below).


    Scoping comment period ​April 27, 2012 to June 18, 2012
    ​Public scoping meeting ​May 22, 2012 in Lewiston, ID
    ​Public scoping meeting ​May 23, 2012 in Spokane, WA
    ​Public scoping meeting ​June 12, 2012 in Missoula, MT
    ​Public scoping meeting ​June 13, 2012 in St. Regis, MT
    Project cancelled April 19, 2015 public notification letter


  • For environmental-related information, contact:
    Kimberly St. Hilaire
    Environmental Protection Specialist
    Bonneville Power Administration - KEC-4
    P.O. Box 3621
    Portland, OR 97208-3621

    Direct line:


    For project information, contact:
    Amit Sinha
    Project Manager

    Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-TPP-3
    P.O. Box 61409
    Vancouver, WA 98666-1409

    Direct line:



    (All documents are in pdf format)

    Environmental work performed prior to cancellation of the project (117 Kb) (5/22/2015)
    Public Letter (183 Kb) (04/21/2015)
    Project Map (551 Kb) (07/16/2014)

    Public Letter - update (269 Kb) (08/01/2014)
    Project Map (551 Kb) (07/16/2014)

    2013 Scoping comments received
    Scoping Comment Report (5.8 Mb) (12/17/2013)
    Project Fact Sheet - update (456 Kb) (08/23/2013)

    Public Letter - update (78 Kb) (August 2013)

    Project Maps Comment Form (17 Kb) (08/23/2013)

    Public Letter - update - Alberton, Montana (61 Kb) (08/01/2013)

    Project Maps 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)
    2012 Scoping comments received
    Public Letter (35 Kb) (04/27/2012)
    Federal Register Notice of Intent (200 Kb) (04/23/2012)