UEC proposes new power line to connect proposed natural gas plant

Umatilla Electric Cooperative (UEC) is proposing a new 230/115-kV transmission line in Oregon’s Umatilla and Morrow counties.

The Hermiston, Ore.-based co-op’s proposed Wind Chaser to Longhorn project will run from the planned Wind Chaser generating facility in western Umatilla County and connect to the Longhorn substation, which the Bonneville Power Administration plans to build at the Port of Morrow near Boardman, Ore., on the Columbia River, about 165 miles east of Portland.

The 500/230-kV Longhorn substation is projected to be in service in December 2014.

The co-op has proposed three possible routes for consideration and published a map of those routes on its project web site

The Wind Chaser generating plant is planned for western Umatilla County and will occupy approximately 20 acres of land adjacent to the existing Hermiston generating plant. The facility will contain up to four natural gas-fired, open-cycle turbines that will produce up to 412 MW of electricity, according to the Oregon Department of Energy’s web site.

The Hermiston generating plant, which has been in service since 1996, uses a combined-cycle, natural-gas-fired combustion turbine and has a capacity of 468 MW.

“UEC is committed to routing the proposed transmission line in a manner consistent with the values of Umatilla County, Morrow County, the Rural Utilities Services, and the Public Utility Commission of Oregon rules and policies,” the co-op said on its project web site. To that end, the UEC will continue to solicit input from those who live or work adjacent to the proposed line, and will continue to share information about the line, the co-op said on its project web site,. 

Calls seeking additional information from UEC were not returned by press time Nov. 7.

Incorporated in 1937 under the Rural Electrification Act, UEC serves portions of Oregon’s Umatilla, Morrow and Union counties.