Project Description

MSTI Review Project: Applying Lessons Learned

Project Update:

The MSTI Review Project is being recognized as one of a short list of exemplary projects that involved community and local decision maker input in the siting of a 500kv transmission line. Future West staff sit on the Western Governors’ Association Transmission Siting Task Force that hosts webinars and in-person meetings 2-3 times a year. As part of that task force, we are drafting and submitting comments on the Department of Energy “Integrated, Interagency Pre-Application Process” that seeks to engage stakeholders early on in project development in order to improve project planning and promote renewable energy development. Future West staff are also working to replicate the community mapping process with the Chama Peak Land Alliance around oil and gas development in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.


The MSTI Review Project was an independent review of the Mountain States Intertie (MSTI), a 500kV transmission line proposed by NorthWestern Energy from Townsend, MT to Jerome, ID. Central to the success of the project was a community mapping exercise that focused on developing an objective, quantitative, and transparent spatial analysis of the MSTI line to empower local governments to make informed decisions on the proposed routing alternatives as it pertained to their unique economic, rural, and environmental values and concerns. Future West staff continues to utilize the lessons learned from this project to inform state and federal transmission siting processes.


Madison and Jefferson Counties, Montana, Sonoran Institute, Western Environmental Law Center, Craighead Institute, Headwaters Economics, and Renewable Northwest Project.


MSTI Review Summary Documents