In 2010, 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 at the Hatwai Substation vicinity 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 & 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.
Please tell us what you think should be studied during the EIS by submitting comments during the scoping comment period that closes on June 18, 2012. To learn more about the project go to: www.bpa.gov/go/M2W or contact Andrew Montaño, toll free at 800-622-4519; directly at 503-230-4145; or by e-mail email@example.com.
PLEASE NOTE: This comment period has been extended to July 2, 2012.