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Tonbridge Power Inc., the controlling shareholder of the Montana Alberta Tie Ltd. (MATL) transmission line project, has announced that the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a record of decision (ROD) authorizing the construction of MATL's 230 kV merchant transmission line in Montana.

The specific authorization granted in the ROD is a certificate of compliance as required under the Montana major facilities siting act and is the state permit required to proceed with the project. The ROD was issued 20 days after the DEQ and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) jointly issued the environmental impact statement for the MATL line.

"We are going to add more clean and green energy to the 271 MW of wind energy we already produce," says Gov. Brian Schweitzer, D-Mont. "With the completion of this project, we will see 600 MW more of Montana wind fill these lines, creating hundreds of jobs for Montanans and triggering $1 billion worth of wind development in north central Montana."

The certificate of compliance authorizes the construction of a transmission line along the preferred alternative that was selected by the DEQ and the DOE and was described in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. The preferred alternative is a combination of MATL's proposed alternative and an alternative developed by the agencies with some local routing options.

The only outstanding permit required before construction can begin is the presidential permit, which allows the company to construct, operate, maintain and connect the MATL line across the U.S.-Canadian border, and its issuance is the responsibility of the DOE.

MATL received all the Canadian permits required to build the line earlier this year.

SOURCE: Tonbridge Power

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