Powering Strong Communities

BPA Rebuild Project Aimed at Easing Transmission Congestion

The Bonneville Power Administration is seeking public feedback on a proposed project to help resolve transmission congestion on its grid.

The project involves the rebuilding of an approximately 3-mile-long segment of the White Bluffs to Richland No. 1 115-kilovolt transmission line from the Stevens Drive Substation south to the Richland Substation.

The Bonneville Power Administration says the rebuild is necessary to help reduce the occurrence of unplanned power outages in the Tri-Cities area of Kennewick, Pasco and Richland in southern Washington State.

Over the past five years, the Richland–Stevens Drive 115-kV line has experienced 15 unplanned outages, Bonneville Power Administration said. Six of the outages were resolved by dispatchers who were able to remotely reclose breakers to restore service without investigation or repairs. Five of the outages occurred during peak loading periods in the spring and summer.

If no action is taken, conditions could result in more frequent, longer, or more widespread power interruptions to customers in the area, the Bonneville Power Administration said.

The proposed project calls for rebuilding the existing, single circuit transmission line between Stevens Drive and Richland that consists of wood H-frame and monopole structures. The line would be rebuilt as a 115-kV double-circuit line on steel monopole structures.

The work would include replacing the existing conductors, H-frame wood pole structures, wood monopoles, selected steel structures and all hardware. The work would also require equipment upgrades at five substations.

The Bonneville Power Administration put the initial cost estimates for the project at between $15 million and $21 million.