Photo by Chicherin1, Dreamstime.
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Idaho Power Applies for Idaho to Oregon Transmission Line

Jan. 11, 2023
The power line will help integrate more renewable energy into the Pacific Northwest’s power grid.

Idaho Power, a unit of IDACORP, applied for a key regulatory certificate in Idaho for the Boardman to Hemingway (B2H) transmission line. According to the utility, the power line will help integrate more renewable energy into the Pacific Northwest’s power grid, and enable the use of more hydropower, wind power and solar power.

B2H is a proposed 290-mile, 500-kilovolt line that will connect a future substation near Boardman, Oregon, to Idaho Power’s existing Hemingway Substation in Owyhee County, Idaho. This connection between the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West will bolster power availability in both regions, where population and business growth, along with extreme weather, have driven peak energy demand to the limits of existing transmission lines’ capacity.

In the summer, when irrigation pumps and air conditioners drive up customer demand in southern Idaho, Idaho Power will use B2H to import up to 500 MW from the Pacific Northwest. That’s enough power for more than 150,000 average homes during Idaho Power’s peak usage hours on summer afternoons. Utilities in the Pacific Northwest will cover their customers’ highest demand in the winter by importing energy from the Intermountain West and other connected regions.

Idaho Power’s application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity asks the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to recognize that B2H serves the public interest. It is a precursor to building and operating the project.

Idaho Power is also angling for permits to build B2H across five counties on the eastern side of Oregon. The company hopes to break ground on B2H in the second half of 2023 and bring the project online as early as 2026.

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