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Portland, Ore.-based Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has selected Canby, Ore.-based Wilson Construction to construct part of its McNary-John Day 500 kV high-voltage transmission line. When energized in late 2012, the line will allow BPA to provide transmission service to more than 870 MW of energy, including service for more than 700 MW of new wind energy.

"This project not only creates jobs today by putting construction workers employed by an Oregon-based company into good-paying, family wage jobs, but it will help create more jobs tomorrow by allowing more wind and other renewable energy projects to be built and sell their electricity into the electric grid," says Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

The line will run from BPA's McNary Substation in Oregon, cross the Columbia River into Washington and run parallel to the Columbia River for 75 miles, mostly within existing rights-of-way, and then cross the Columbia River back into Oregon and end at BPA's John Day Substation.

This contract secures Wilson Construction's services to construct the approximately 70-mile portion of the line on the Washington side of the Columbia River. BPA will select a contractor or contractors to construct the remaining work on the line at a later date.

McNary-John Day is one of four high-voltage transmission lines BPA has proposed to meet the region's transmission needs. The four projects would add more than 225 miles of lines to the Northwest transmission grid, improving reliability and, together with a smaller upgrade, allowing BPA to provide transmission service to about 3,700 MW of requests received in the network open season, including service for 2,790 MW of additional renewable energy.

SOURCE: Bonneville Power Administration



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