“The extensive public input we’ve received has helped us develop a wide range of alternative routes that includes new options through less-populated areas,” said Steve Wright, BPA administrator. “We know that this is a lengthy and trying process, but we need to make sure we get it right. We understand that people who could be affected would like us to move as quickly as possible.”

BPA has scheduled four public meetings in southwest Washington and northwest Oregon to explain the status of the project and the next steps. Dates and locations for the meetings and the new map can be found at www.bpa.gov/go/i5.

BPA will now focus on developing preliminary designs for each segment. That will help narrow corridors now depicted on the map, providing a more precise picture of where the proposed line might be located.

BPA is a not-for-profit federal electric utility that operates a high-voltage transmission grid comprising more than 15,000 miles of lines and associated substations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. It also markets more than a third of the electricity consumed in the Pacific Northwest. The power is produced at 31 federal dams operated by the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation and one nuclear plant in the Northwest and is sold to more than 140 Northwest utilities. BPA purchases power from seven wind projects and has more than 2,800 megawatts of wind interconnected to its transmission system.