Crews from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) are building a large substation in southeast Washington so the power from new wind turbines can be delivered to BPA customers across the West.
BPA is building the substation to feed electricity from Puget Sound Energy's Lower Snake River wind project. Energy from the wind turbines will enter the new substation at 230 kV. BPA's equipment will step up the energy to 500 kV and then loop it into nearby high-voltage transmission lines.
Phase I of the wind project is expected to be complete by the end of this year and will add up to 343 MW of renewable wind energy to the grid, according to BPA.
BPA started construction on the $100 million substation project in July 2010 and says it is on schedule to complete the project in November. The construction, which has supported more than 50 jobs, is being completed in three phases.
The first phase – site preparations, drainage and footings – is complete. The second phase two, now under way, includes installation of aboveground equipment, including the transformer, breakers, conductor supports and control house.