The approval for eight of the ten segments, which include segments 1 through 7, and 10, follows extensive environmental review, with the final environmental impact statement issued in April 2013.

Decision to approve or deny the segments 8 and 9 has been deferred by the Bureau Of Land Management (BLM), until the time it can conduct additional stakeholder outreach and public engagement.

Representing one of the seven priority projects of the Obama Administration’s Rapid Response Team for Transmission, the Gateway West project was jointly proposed by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power as 10 segments originating at the Windstar substation near Glenrock, and terminating at the Hemingway substation near Melba, Idaho.

Specifically, the 990-mile, high-voltage line is expected to tap into the abundant wind energy resources that are being developed in the region, such as in southern Wyoming.

Interior secretary Sally Jewell said, ”The line will strengthen the Western grid, bringing a diversified portfolio of renewable and conventional energy to meet the region’s projected growth in electricity demand.”

The approval enables the companies to start construction for only the approved segments, after meeting all necessary conditions identified in the Right-of-Way grant.