James E. Risch

Northwest high-voltage transmission lines OK'd by officials

U.S. officials on Wednesday approved two high-voltage transmission line routes in southwestern Idaho aimed at modernizing and improving reliability of the Pacific Northwest's energy grid.

The U.S. Department of the Interior's approval is for the two final segments of the Gateway West project proposed a decade ago by the Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power utilities.

The transmission lines "will help power the American West for years to come," Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement.

The 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) project is one side of a triangle of transmission lines supporters have said are needed to meet future regional electricity demand and...