- What is the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project?
- Why does Idaho Power need to build the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project?
- Where would the power supply come from?
- Can energy conservation reduce the need for this transmission line?
- Would the new transmission line result in additional energy generation facilities like wind?
- Is the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project being built to facilitate wind farms?
- Would the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project benefit only Idaho Power customers?
What is the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project?
The Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project (B2H Project) is a proposal from Idaho Power to build and operate a 500 kilovolt transmission line from a proposed substation near Boardman, Oregon to the Hemingway Substation near Melba, Idaho.
To cross public and private lands in Idaho or Oregon, the project must be evaluated and approved by federal, state and local agencies.
Visit Idaho Power's Project Information page for more information.
Why does Idaho Power need to build the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project?
There are many needs for the B2H Project, which include enabling Idaho Power to transport low-cost energy from a variety of generation sources in the Northwest to serve homes, farms and businesses in the region.
The transmission line will also improve system reliability and reduce constraints that currently exist on the Northwest’s transmission system as demand for energy continues to grow, which will benefit all communities throughout the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain Regions. For example, the Pacific Northwest requires more power during the winter months while the Idaho Power system peaks during the summer. With this new line electricity will be able to flow to where the highest energy demand is occurring at the time.
Regardless of the electric service provider, this line would allow utilities to access low-cost energy from the region. This would help electricity service providers maintain some of the lowest electricity rates in the nation.
Where would the power supply come from?
The power imported on the proposed transmission line would come from a variety of northwest sources including hydroelectric, natural gas, coal, nuclear and wind resources.
Can energy conservation reduce the need for this transmission line?
Idaho Power actively pursues cost-effective energy efficiency and demand response programs to help customers manage their energy use and demand. Idaho Power has numerous programs benefiting residential, agricultural and commercial/industrial customers.
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission commended Idaho Power for aggressively pursuing demand side management; however Idaho Power believes energy efficiency cannot replace the need for the B2H Project because transmission in the Pacific Northwest is already at capacity, and additional transmission is needed for the region.
This project will improve the delivery of electricity to all Northwest and Intermountain West utility customers. The Pacific Northwest requires more power during the winter months while the Intermountain West electricity system peaks and requires more power during the summer. With this new line, electricity will be able to flow to where the highest energy demand is occurring at the time. It will improve the reliability of the regional transmission system and help maintain fair-priced electricity for everyone in the region.
Would the new transmission line result in additional energy generation facilities?
The proposed transmission line would increase regional transmission transport capacity. The project is not related to any specific power generation resource. The added capacity generated by the B2H Project would relieve existing transmission congestion. The provided relief may stimulate interest in siting power generation facilities that were previously deterred due to transmission congestion. The line will be open to all generators who meet regulatory requirements, regardless of where the energy comes from.
Is the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project being built to facilitate wind farms?
No. The B2H Project would enable energy to be exchanged between the Northwest and Intermountain West based on demand. The transmission line would relieve congestion on the existing 230 kV transmission lines that interconnect the Intermountain West electrical system with the Northwest system. This relief may allow generation projects to interconnect on lower voltage transmission lines.
Would the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project benefit only Idaho Power customers?
The Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line would serve existing customers, as well as customers outside of Idaho Power’s service area throughout the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. Electricity could flow from one substation to the other depending on the time of year and where the highest demand for electricity was occurring. For example, the communities in eastern Oregon and southern Idaho experience their highest power use in the summer months, while the western portion of the Pacific Northwest traditionally requires more power during the winter season.
Therefore, in the summer, the line would transfer power from Pacific Northwest generation plants to customers of Idaho Power, Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative, the City of Weiser, the City of Burley and others. Alternately, the line would serve western Pacific Northwest electric customers in the winter during their peak usage time. Idaho Power, Bonneville Power Administration and PacifiCorp feel that it is a communally beneficial project that supports the energy requirements of customers throughout the region while strengthening the regional transmission grid.