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Gateway West Transmission Project, Idaho and Wyoming

STATUS:  In progress with opposition

TYPE: Transmission

OPPOSITION:  Local residents

PROSPECTS:  Likely

BACKGROUND:  Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power plan to construct and operate the Gateway West project, which consists of 11 transmission line segments that extend a total of about 1,150 miles across southern Wyoming and southern Idaho, 500 miles of which is public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  The project would include approximately 300 miles of 230 kilovolt (kV) lines in Wyoming and approximately 850 miles of 500 kV lines in Wyoming and Idaho.  Total project construction costs are estimated at around $2 billion.  The project intends to supply energy to customers by delivering electricity from existing and new generating resources, including renewable resources.

The developers hoped to begin construction by early 2011, but the permitting process has taken longer than expected.  Residents (and Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal) opposed the route, and a compromise route was found.  Still other residents opposed this new compromise route.  The draft environmental impact statement for the project is due out in late 2010, after BLM delayed its completion.  Construction is now expected to begin in late 2012, with completion expected in phases between 2014 and 2018.

SOURCES:  Gateway West: http://www.gatewaywestproject.com/; http://www.gatewaywestproject.com/documents/route/RouteOverview_20100129.pdf; http://www.gatewaywestproject.com/schedule.aspx;
BLM http://www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/cfodocs/gateway_west/; http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/news_room/2010/july/22gatewaywest.html;
PacifiCorp: http://www.pacificorp.com/about/newsroom/2010nrl/routes_identifiedforanalysisinthegatewaywesttransmissionlineproj.html);
Wyoming Star-Tribune: http://trib.com/homepage_lead/article_812b98db-910f-5fe7-b307-04eddf54b027.html;
http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_1180dfbd-3641-58a9-9909-c3b3e4fcbbb5.html; Stop Idaho Power: http://stopidahopower.blogspot.com/2009/04/gateway-west-in-owyhee-county.html;
Kemmerer Gazette: http://www.kemmerergazette.com/v2_news_articles.php?heading=0&story_id=1536;
Magic Valley Times-News: http://www.magicvalley.com/business/local/article_2a6f7956-62a9-58cc-8681-6ef9e2c51dec.html   

Last Updated:  December 3, 2010