About Us

Montana governor announces multibillion dollar transmission line

Many hurdles exist. In addition to the state and federal permits that would be required, the company will also need to secure agreements from utilities to buy energy over the line and from companies that want to build the wind power plants and expensive plants to turn coal gas into electricity.

"But it starts here today," Schweitzer said.

The line, which will be dedicated to exporting electricity, would carry enough power for roughly 3.5 million people, or about 3,500 megawatts, Thompson said. It would travel west from somewhere in eastern Montana, turn south near Townsend and go through Idaho on its way to Nevada. Connectors from the Las Vegas area would run to Los Angeles and Phoenix, the governor said.

Schweitzer and Thompson said the transmission line is needed to kick start separate plans to build big power plants.

Thompson said the line could compete with others being planned to run from Wyoming to the same energy markets. He said his company chose Montana because it believes the state has vast energy reserves and likes the support that Schweitzer has offered.

The governor said the state Department of Environmental Quality will work quickly to process needed permits. He also said he has signed a letter of understanding with the governors of Idaho and Nevada to help coordinate permitting for the line.

Schweitzer said the proposal will challenge energy companies and utilities to start building power generation in Montana.

Jon Walters with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who also attended Monday's announcement, said workers will do everything possible to make sure the project gets built on time and under budget.

It was Schweitzer's second major energy announcement this month. The governor previously unveiled plans made by a group of companies to build the nation's first coal-to-liquid fuel facilities at the Bull Mountain mine 14 miles south of Roundup.

The Northern Plains Resource Council, which has been skeptical about the large-scale coal development such projects could spur, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Monday.

Technical Articles - index of technical articles related to GENI's vision. Includes: articles written by GENI and about GENI concerning the proof of concept and some industry reports relating to the GENI vision