DOI Approves New High-Voltage Transmission Line in Wyoming and Idaho

November 20, 2013

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on November 12 announced approval of the majority of the proposed Gateway West Transmission Line Project, a 990-mile, high-voltage line that will provide up to 1,500 megawatts of transmission capacity in southern Wyoming and southern Idaho, tapping wind energy resources. The project is expected to tap into wind energy resources being developed in the region, such as in southern Wyoming. The decision allows backers to begin construction for only the approved segments once they meet conditions of the right-of-way grant.

Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power proposed the line as 10 segments originating near Glenrock, Wyoming, and terminating at near Melba, Idaho, 20 miles southwest of Boise. DOI's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved eight of the 10 segments and deferred a decision either to approve or deny the remaining two segments until the agency can conduct additional stakeholder outreach and public engagement.

Gateway West is one of seven priority projects of the Obama Administration’s Rapid Response Team for Transmission, which aims to improve the overall quality and timeliness of electric transmission infrastructure permitting. When built, these projects will help increase electric reliability, integrate new renewable energy into the grid, and save consumers money. See the DOI press release and the BLM record of decision.