BPA’s New Transmission Line Plans To Service 4 GW Of Wind Energy


The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has announced it will build a new high-voltage power line that will help move energy – including wind power – from east of the Cascade Mountains in the northwestern U.S. to homes and businesses in population centers west of the Cascades.

The 500 kV Big Eddy-Knight transmission line will run 28 miles from BPA's Big Eddy Substation near The Dalles, Ore., to a new substation located four miles northwest of Goldendale, Wash. Construction is tentatively scheduled to start this week.

Starting from the Big Eddy Substation, the first 14 miles of the 28-mile Big Eddy-Knight transmission line will use double-circuit towers that will carry the new line and an existing BPA transmission line on mostly existing rights of way. The remaining 14 miles of the line will use a newly acquired right of way. BPA will also build a new substation about four miles northwest of Goldendale.

In addition to strengthening the transmission system, the Big Eddy-Knight line will help BPA provide transmission service for more than 4 GW of wind energy. To date, wind generation on BPA's system has surpassed 3.5 MW, BPA notes.

‘Upgrading BPA's transmission system will not only create up to 100 construction jobs; it will strengthen BPA's ability to handle further expansion of wind energy and other renewable energy projects in the region," says Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden. "This project is a good example of how economic stimulus funding is being invested in real jobs, to build real infrastructure that supports real economic growth in the region.’

The project will cost approximately $185 million and is financed, in part, by borrowing authority included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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