The Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project (B2H Project) is important to the Northwest and Intermountain West regions. Transmission paths are key to exchanging electricity between these regions, depending on which area is experiencing the highest demand.
Idaho Power anticipates the B2H Project will:
- Enable transportation of low-cost energy from various generation sources in the Northwest and Intermountain West to serve homes, farms and businesses in both regions, including allowing excess wind generation to flow throughout the regions to where it is needed.
- Improve system reliability and reduce constraints on the regional transmission system as demand for energy continues to grow.
- Connect the Intermountain West with the Northwest power grid to meet seasonal energy demands.
The new 500 kV transmission line would run from a proposed substation in northeast Oregon to the Hemingway Substation in southwest Idaho.
Idaho Power first identified the need to pursue Pacific Northwest transmission upgrades in its 2000 and 2002 Integrated Resource Plans (IRP). An IRP addresses future energy obligations and anticipated regulation while minimizing the impact to customers and owners; includes Idaho Power’s energy efficiency programs which help balance growing energy demand with variable supply; and recognizes Idaho Power’s need to support increased economic activity and customer use. A significant component of providing reliable service to customers is securing necessary resource infrastructure, such as the B2H Project.
The transmission line project was later identified in Idaho Power’s 2006 IRP and 2008 IRP Update. The project has been included in Idaho Power’s subsequent 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015 IRP to the Idaho and Oregon public utility commissions. The 2015 IRP is a roadmap describing how Idaho Power plans to meet current and future energy needs over the next 20 years.
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and PacifiCorp are exploring joint participation with Idaho Power on the B2H Project as they evaluate options for meeting demand throughout their service territories. Agreements, signed Jan. 12, 2012 by the three, provide funding for environmental review and permitting. The agreements also ensure continued consideration of the project but do not commit participation in construction.
BPA is a non-profit federal agency that markets renewable hydropower from federal Columbia River dams, operates three-quarters of the high-voltage transmission lines in the Northwest and funds one of the largest wildlife protection and restoration programs in the world. BPA and its partners have saved enough electricity through energy efficiency projects to power four large American cities. For more information, contact us at 503-230-5131 or visit our website at www.bpa.gov.
PacifiCorp is one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, serving more than 1.7 million customers in the West. PacifiCorp operates as Pacific Power in Oregon, Washington and California, and as Rocky Mountain Power in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. With a generating capability of more than 10,620 megawatts from coal, hydro, gas-fired combustion turbines and renewable wind and geothermal power, the company works to meet growing energy demand while protecting and enhancing the environment. For more information, visit www.pacificorp.com.