NorthWestern halts planning work for power line
BUTTE, Mont. (AP) -- NorthWestern Energy has asked several government agencies to stop their analysis of a proposed $1 billion power line that would run from southwestern Montana to southeastern Idaho.
NorthWestern spokeswoman Claudia Rapkoch tells The Montana Standard that the company is frustrated after spending $14 million for government studies over the past four years and being no closer to permitting the Mountain States Transmission Intertie, or MSTI.
Rapkoch says the latest roadblock came when the Idaho Bureau of Land Management ordered NorthWestern to propose three alternatives through southeastern Idaho that avoid core sage grouse habitat.
NorthWestern officials have said the company is evaluating whether it should continue with the project due to market uncertainty and environmental concerns. It has spent more than $23 million on the project so far.
Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com