Oregon to Add More Electric Transmission Capacity, Thanks to Stimulus Bill


photo: Stefan Andrej Shambora via flickr

The idea that more and better electrical transmission capacity needs to be built to fully take advantage of the United States' renewable energy potential is one which is pointed out commonly these days. Fortunately it's on the mark. And now that the economic recovery act has been passed, at least one transmission project is already being pushed forward because of it. Bonneville Power Administration has announced that the stimulus bill has removed "a major uncertainty" and it will be going ahead with the $246 million McNary-John Day electric transmission project:700 MW Wind Power Enabled + 700 New Jobs During Construction
When completed in 2012, the added capacity will enable a total of 870 MW of energy, including 700 MW of wind power, to be be serviced by BPA. During construction, which is expected to begin this spring, about 700 jobs will be created.

The new transmission lines will run from BPA's McNary substation in Umatilla, Oregon, across the Columbia River, run parallel with the river for 75 miles (taking advantage of existing rights-of-way), before crossing back into Oregon to link up with the John Day substation.

OK, so it's not some exciting new smart grid project, and the little cynic on my shoulder wonders if this announcement wasn't made as much to say "hey, we're doing this" as it was to say "passing the stimulus bill was the right thing to do", but enabling an additional 700 MW of wind power to be brought into the grid is still an important thing.

via: Portland Business Journal
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Tags: Economics | Electricity | Oregon | Renewable Energy | United States | Wind Power

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