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NorthWestern Corp., doing business as NorthWestern Energy, has submitted the Mountain States Transmission Intertie (MSTI) major facility siting application (MFSA) with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

NorthWestern Energy proposes to construct, operate and maintain the approximately 400-mile, 500 kV transmission line to address the requests for transmission service from customers and to relieve constraints on the high-voltage transmission system in the region. The new transmission line is expected to run from a new substation near Townsend, Mont., to a substation near Midpoint, Idaho.

"The filing of this application takes us one step closer toward the realization of the Mountain States Transmission Intertie project, which is designed to facilitate generation development in Montana," says Dave Gates, vice president of wholesale operations at NorthWestern Energy, adding that renewable generation projects in Montana would benefit from new transmission.

The Montana DEQ has 30 days to complete the review of the MFSA application and notify NorthWestern Energy of any additional information or requirements. Once the MFSA process is completed, NorthWestern Energy will proceed with an environmental review - including an environmental impact statement - under the Montana Environmental Policy Act and National Environmental Policy Act, and other various approvals and permits. This process is expected to begin in late August with additional public scoping meetings scheduled in September.

SOURCE: NorthWestern Energy


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