Landowners causing delays to two BPA transmission projects

Two Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) projects are facing delays over routing and land acquisition issues.

BPA has yet to begin construction on the 500-kV Central Ferry to Lower Monumental project. “We are still working with customers to determine exactly when the line will be needed,” a BPA spokesperson told TransmissionHub on April 20.

According to TransmissionHub data, the project was to have begun construction in 2011 with an in-service date of 2013.

The 38-mile project is intended to accommodate several large wind projects that have requested interconnection with the BPA system. When complete, the $90m project will enable additional power to flow from areas east of the Cascade Mountains to heavily populated areas west of that mountain range.

The 500-kV Big Eddy-Knight transmission line is currently under construction but is progressing more slowly than originally anticipated. “We have pushed the energization date from February 2013 to late 2013 due to issues related to land acquisition for easements,” the BPA spokesperson said.

The 28-mile project will link the Big Eddy substation in The Dalles, Ore. with the new Knight substation in Goldendale, Wash., at an approximate cost of $182m.

In addition to the projects above, BPA is working on the $340m I-5 corridor reinforcement project, a 500-kV line between Castle Rock, Wash., and Vancouver, Wash., that will reinforce the high-voltage power grid in southwestern Washington.

BPA is also building six new overhead 500-kV lines at Grand Coulee Dam. The lines will each run about ¾-mile and will replace six existing lines that run through oil-filled channels in the concrete of the dam itself. The new overhead lines will transfer power across the Columbia River and over the visitor center area, then proceed uphill to connect to existing lines that transfer power from the area of the dam to the regional power grid.

Earlier this year, BPA completed the new Mc Nary-John Day line 10 months ahead of schedule and $140m under its original $340m budget. The 500-kV line runs 79 miles along the Columbia River from McNary Dam to John Day Dam.