In April 2012, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) started to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on its proposed Montana-to-Washington Transmission System Upgrade Project (M2W Project). The M2W Project includes proposed upgrades to parts of BPA's existing transmission system in Montana, Idaho, and Washington (see enclosed map). The M2W Project was proposed to increase available transmission capacity from BPA's Garrison Substation in western Montana to power markets west of the Cascades. This increase in capacity was needed in order for BPA to provide transmission service in response to requests from customers.
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. If in the future sufficient demand for transmission service between western Montana and power markets west of the Cascades emerges, BPA would consider at that time whether to initiate a new proposal for any transmission system upgrades that would be needed to accommodate these requests. At that time, BPA would evaluate the transmission planning, design, and environmental review work that has already been competed for the M2W Project and determine what of that work could be used for the potential new proposal.