Oregon law requires Idaho Power to receive approval from the Oregon Department of Energy’s (ODOE) Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) in the form of a “Site Certificate” to build B2H on land in Oregon. The energy facility siting process requires the applicant to meet all applicable standards. The process combines state and local government requirements, including land use, into a single decision and appeal path.
ODOE is a state agency with a variety of divisions and departments, including the Siting Division. The Siting Division is technical staff to EFSC and administers the site certificate application process on its behalf.
EFSC is a governor-appointed citizen council, confirmed by the Senate, which regulates major energy facilities in Oregon.
Idaho Power began the siting process in Oregon in 2010 and submitted an Application for Site Certificate (ASC) in October 2018. ODOE issued its recommendations on the application in a Draft Proposed Order (DPO) in May 2019. The DPO recommended that EFSC approve Idaho Power’s application. EFSC then held public hearings in each of the five counties in Oregon that B2H would cross: Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Baker, and Malheur. Members of the public had the opportunity to submit comments on the proposed transmission line at these hearings or during a 93-day public comment period that followed the release of the DPO.
EFSC will review and revise the DPO based on the public comments received. This new document will be released as the Proposed Order. A hearing officer will hold a contested case proceeding after the Proposed Order is released where individuals who submitted comments on the DPO and feel that their comments were not addressed in the Proposed Order can raise these issues. In order to participate in the contested case, individuals must have submitted a written or oral comment between the release of the DPO on May 22, 2019, and before the end of the public comment period on August 22, 2019.
After the conclusion of the contested case, EFSC will issue a final decision and either approve or deny Idaho Power’s application to construct B2H.
More information on the EFSC process is available in ODOE’s Guide to Siting and Oversight of Energy Facilities.
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Kellen Tardaewether, Senior Siting Analyst
Oregon Department of Energy
Address: 550 Capitol St N.E.
Salem, OR 97301