BEND, OR (April 14, 2017) A recently completed study by the Bonneville Power Administration identifies needed transmission upgrades in Central Oregon to support the expanding economy – one of the fastest growing in the United States. BPA, a federal power marketer that owns and operates three-quarters of the Pacific Northwest region’s high-voltage transmission grid, studied three new interconnection requests for large loads in 2016 for Central Oregon. The study summary identifies main grid transmission upgrades needed to allow Central Electric Cooperative, Pacific Power, and Midstate Electric Cooperative to interconnect requested new large load additions.

Findings from the study confirm that the transmission grid is capable of serving Central Oregon’s current loads, with additional capacity needed to allow for our region’s growing residential, manufacturing and commercial loads, both small and large-scale.

“As an engine of the Northwest’s economic prosperity, BPA is committed to providing reliable electric transmission capacity for our customers,” said Jeff Cook, Vice President of Planning and Asset Management within BPA Transmission. “This study gives us a clear road map to respond to these requests in Central Oregon.”

In response to interconnection requests, BPA has committed to installing new equipment at the Slatt Substation on the Slatt–Buckley 500 kV line as well as upgrading equipment at the Bakeoven Substation on the John Day–Grizzly 500 kV No. 1 and No. 2 lines. This will increase the interconnection capability by 315 MW by June 2019. A remedial action scheme to automatically trip load for main grid contingencies would be required to provide additional interconnection capability. Preliminary studies show the main grid could support an additional 270 MW of new large load additions for a total of 585 MW with this new equipment and schemes. The schemes will need to be further studied and would likely take about two to three years from now to implement.

“As the primary supplier to our system, BPA plays a critical role in our ability to serve our customers,” noted Dave Markham, CEO of Central Electric Cooperative. “We are encouraged by results of this study to continue to provide affordable, reliable power to our current and future customers.”

Pacific Power Regional Manager Matthew Chancellor echoed this point: “We have been part of, and grown with, the Central Oregon community for over a century. These investments by BPA will provide everyone in the region further capacity for growth – both in the short and long-term.”

The study summary suggests major transmission system reinforcement, such as a new 500 kV line, may be required to provide additional interconnection capability in the Central Oregon area beyond the 585MW. More research, engineering and environmental review would be necessary for this large grid infrastructure project to move forward.

“It’s no secret Central Oregon is growing and new businesses want to move here. It’s our responsibility to make sure we continue to monitor our infrastructure and make the appropriate recommendations and updates to sustain our region’s growth,” said Roger Lee, CEO of Economic Development for Central Oregon.

While there has been recent press about the region’s ability to meet electric power needs, Prineville specifically, BPA’s study provides a clear overview to alleviate those concerns and show the region’s ability to increase power usage.

“In the city of Prineville, we are constantly looking toward the future,” said Steve Forrester, Prineville City Manager. “The addition of new power infrastructure will be in use within two years, and we can market that in our job creation and industry diversification efforts with EDCO.”

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)
Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders, whose mission is to create middle-class jobs in Central Oregon by: recruiting new employers to move to the region; helping entrepreneurs start new, scalable businesses; and working with businesses that are already here to grow their operations. For more information, visit www.edcoinfo.com.

About Bonneville Power Administration
The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant to 142 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses. BPA delivers power via more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines and 261 substations to 475 transmission customers. In all, BPA markets about a third of the electricity consumed in the Northwest and operates three-quarters of the region’s high-voltage transmission grid. BPA also funds one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the world, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain affordable, reliable and carbon-free electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov

For Press Inquiries:

Elise Rossman
Director of Marketing and Communications, EDCO
541.388.3236 x6

Kevin Wingert
Media Relations, Bonneville Power Administration
503.230.4140 x5131


For questions regarding the regional power companies servicing Central Oregon:

Ry Schwark
Manager, External Communications, PacifiCorp

Jeff Beaman
Member Services Director, Central Electric Cooperative, LLC

Dave Schneider
CEO/General Manager, Midstate Electric Cooperative


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