20230713 Bpa Takes Major Step To Advance Tx Projects For Reliability And Expansion 64c0065241918

Bonneville Power Administration Advances Transmission Projects Worth $2 Billion

July 25, 2023
The projects with an expected energizing between 2025 and 2032 to provide 6,000 MW of additional capacity.

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has approved more than $2 billion for multiple transmission substation and line projects for reinforcing the grid and to increase capacity, accommodate regional growth with clean energy resources.

Once constructed and examined, the projects will not only add renewable energy to the power grid but also help Oregon and Washington customers meet 2030 clean energy targets. The projects are estimated to be worth $1.35 billion. With an expected energization between 2025 and 2032, they would provide about 6,000 MW of additional capacity on BPA’s transmission network.

“This move demonstrates a strong commitment to our customers and advances their efforts to meet state clean energy mandates,” said John Hairston, BPA administrator and CEO. “We are setting the stage for an infrastructure decade that should significantly advance our efforts to respond to transmission interconnection and service requests and generate sufficient revenue to allow us to keep rates low.”

Strengthening the existing BPA transmission lines, which allow flow of energy from the east side of the region to load Puget Sound Energy and Portland General Electric centers, six of the projects combined with few smaller projects near Seattle and Portland will support transmission lines that deliver electricity to BPA customers, serving retail loads in those areas.

“These transmission projects would enable the reliable delivery of new clean and affordable resources to Portland General Electric’s customers and will support economic growth,” said Maria Pope, Portland General Electric CEO.

“The transmission investments that BPA is accelerating today are an important first step in enabling the transmission improvements we must have in place to bring clean energy resources to PSE’s customers and help meet our future requirements under the Clean Energy Transformation Act,” said Mary Kipp, president and CEO of Puget Sound Energy.  

Additionally, BPA is working one transmission line and three substation projects in Central Oregon, expected to be worth $839 million. The projects can accommodate new service for incoming large customers and regional load growth while maintaining high reliability.  

Central Electric Cooperative supports BPA’s announcement to commit funding toward building a new substation in Central Oregon to help meet the rapid load growth in the area,” said Brad Wilson, Central Electric president and CEO. “Expanding its electric and transmission infrastructure will allow for greater economic development and ensure long-term electric reliability to meet our members’ needs.”

“Working collaboratively with our members, community leaders and area stakeholders, Umatilla Electric continues to successfully bolster economic development opportunities in Eastern Oregon,” said Robert Echenrode, general manager/ CEO of Umatilla Electric Cooperative.

Part of BPA’s Evolving Grid effort designed to address customer and regional transmission needs over the next two decades, the projects are anticipated to expand when the federal agency finalizes the 2023 Cluster Study.

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