Helicopters flying rope across the Columbia River provided an unusual sight for those watching the final stages of construction on the Big Eddy-Knight 500-kV transmission line this summer. BPA’s latest high-voltage project, near The Dalles, Oregon, brings innovation to building transmission.
The new line, which spans 28 miles, will provide another path for power to cross between Oregon and Washington. Most importantly, it will bring added capacity to an area that has seen rapid growth in renewable resources and has become a hot spot for energy intensive data centers.
The Big Eddy-Knight project adds 42 circuit miles of high-voltage wires and 128 new towers to the BPA system, with each tower carrying two circuits. The first is the new BE-K line, which connects the existing Big Eddy Substation just east of The Dalles, Ore., with the new Knight Substation in Goldendale, Wash. The second is a rebuilt portion of the Harvalum-Big Eddy 230-kV line. While the second line will operate at 230 kV, the towers, conductor and hardware are being constructed at 500 kV to provide additional capacity if the need arises in the future.
Following are images of the new Big Eddy-Knight 500-kV line river crossing completed during summer 2015. Photos and captions from Bonneville Power Administration's Facebook album.