Transmission development can have serious impacts on the land, but also has an important role to play in supporting wind and solar projects. Building only what we need and avoiding paths through sensitive wildlands and wildlife habitat will limit impacts to our public lands.
Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power have proposed to build two 1,100 mile high-voltage transmission lines between Glenrock, Wyoming and Melba, Idaho. The Gateway West project would be composed of 230 and 500 kilovolt transmission lines. It has been named as a priority transmission line project by the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality’s Rapid Response Team for Transmission.
Issues to solve
The project developer has stated that the primary purpose of the line is to increase reliability on the grid, and that the line will carry both fossil and renewable resources. It is important to limit increases in fossil fuel-based power. Additional review is needed to determine the type of generation that would be facilitated by this project.
Careful planning is needed for projects of this size and scope because of potential impacts to wild places and wildlife, including high-profile species such as the greater sage-grouse and golden eagles. To protect wildlands and wildlife habitat, we are recommending transmission routes that would have the fewest impacts, as well as advocating for efforts to offset any unavoidable impacts.
- Gateway West Project site:
- BLM Sage Grouse Initiative:
- Council on Environmental Quality’s Interagency Rapid Response Team for Transmission:
- Project Factsheet and Timeline: