Planned Montana-Dakota transmission line to connect eastern and western electric grids
Energy companies are pursuing projects in central and eastern Montana that address the ongoing need to bolster the state and the region’s decades-old electric grid.
A February draft transmission study from the U.S. Department of Energy identifies a need for more infrastructure to transfer energy between regional electric systems.
Brant Johnson with Grid United, a Texas company that wants to build a new transmission line between Montana and North Dakota, said there’s “just not much connection east of Colstrip.”
The line would cross nearly 400 miles and link the eastern and western electric systems. According to the project website, the line could be operational as early as 2029.
Meanwhile, NorthWestern Energy in a recent news release says it’s entering the final phase of upgrading a substation in Billings to help meet increased demand with increased capacity – work includes replacing decades-old wooden power line structures and upgrading existing transmission lines.
U.S. Department of Energy sent notice of its draft National Transmission Needs Study in the Federal Register Monday. Members of the public can submit feedback through April 20.