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New transmission line links Big Eddy, Goldendale

PORTLAND (AP) — For the second time in two weeks, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) energized and brought into service a new 500-kilovolt transmission line, this time connecting central Washington and Oregon.

The 28-mile, single-circuit line connects BPA’s Big Eddy Substation in The Dalles to the new Knight Substation northwest of Goldendale, Wash.

Big Eddy Knight was energized Nov. 13 at 2:02 p.m. The line increases the electrical capacity of BPA’s transmission system in response to requests for transmission service in this area.

“This has been a five-year journey that culminated with an army of folks from nearly every aspect of BPA bringing the project to energization,” said Emmanuel Jaramillo, the project manager for the new line. “The Big Eddy-Knight team showed an amazing tenacity to overcome every challenge we’ve been faced with. They never lost focus.”

“Despite all the changes at BPA in the past five years, it’s still the same Big Eddy-Knight team who started the project that brought it to completion,” he said.

Construction on Big Eddy-Knight began in the fall of 2011 and underwent design adjustments in the latter half of 2012 and 2013 to accommodate for newly discovered culturally sensitive sites along the route.

The project included the use of helicopters to string 20 transmission cables between two towers across the Columbia River between Wishram, Wash. and Celilo, east of The Dalles.

Earlier this month, BPA energized another 500-kilovolt line in southeastern Washington. The 38-mile Central Ferry-Lower Monumental line connected BPA’s Central Ferry Substation in Garfield County to Lower Monumental Substation in Walla Walla County.

The two projects — Big Eddy-Knight and Central Ferry-Lower Monumental — will bolster system reliability and enable BPA to carry a significant amount of new generating resources, including wind, to population centers in western Oregon and Washington. BPA operates three-fourths of the high-voltage transmission lines in the Northwest with more than 15,000 circuit miles. Consistent with its Open Access Transmission Tariff, BPA has an obligation to ensure sufficient capability to serve its customers through a safe and reliable transmission system.

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