BPA has decided to construct the Big Eddy-Knight Transmission Project in Wasco County, Oregon and Klickitat County, Washington. This project consists primarily of constructing a new, approximately 28-mile-long, 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line and ancillary facilities between BPA's existing Big Eddy Substation in The Dalles, Oregon, to a proposed new Knight Substation that would be connected to an existing BPA line about 4 miles northwest of Goldendale, Washington.
The Big Eddy-Knight Transmission Project will respond to requests for transmission service in the region by increasing transmission capability of the electrical system. For the transmission line, BPA has decided to build East Alternative Option 3, which was identified in the final EIS as the preferred alternative for the transmission line route. For the first 14 miles, the line will use double-circuit towers (combining the new line and an existing line on one set of towers) mostly on existing right-of-way. The remaining 14 miles of the new line will be built with single-circuit towers in newly-established transmission line right-of-way. BPA has also decided to build the small (about 1 mile) realignment of the East Alternative on the Oregon side of the Columbia River, as described in the final EIS. For the proposed new Knight Substation, BPA has decided to build Knight Substation on Site 1, which is on private property about 0.5 mile west of Knight Road. For the fiber optic cable necessary for system communications, BPA has decided to build the Loop Back Option, which will string fiber optic cable on the new transmission towers from BPA's Big Eddy Substation to the new Knight Substation and back again. The project also includes new equipment at BPA's existing Big Eddy and Wautoma substations.
BPA considered three transmission line alternatives, two Knight Substation sites, two fiber optic cable options, and the No Action Alternative.
To make an informed decision on whether to build the project and to understand the impacts of the alternatives, BPA prepared a draft and final environmental impact statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
In December 2010, BPA released the draft EIS, asked for public comments, and held two public meetings. About 370 people commented on the draft EIS, which helped BPA make adjustments to the project and refine the environmental analysis and mitigation measures. All comments we received on the draft EIS are posted below.
BPA released the final EIS in July 2011. The final EIS describes the proposed project and why it is needed, discusses the environmental impacts the project would create, lists the mitigation measures that would lessen or eliminate those impacts, and addresses comments received on the draft EIS. In September 2011, BPA issued a Record of Decision announcing the decision to build the project using East Alternative Option 3, Knight Substation Site 1, and the fiber optic cable Loop Back Option.
Construction of the line is ongoing. BPA estimates the transmission line will be energized in fall 2015
Construction alert for June and July 2015
During June and July, BPA will be installing 20 new transmission cables on the new towers where the new line crosses the Columbia River near Wishram, Washington (map). Helicopters will be used to pull the cables across the river. To see a video of this type of operation, visit
While some of the stringing operations are underway, it will be necessary to temporarily stop highway traffic along I-84 in Oregon, railway traffic on both sides of the river, and river traffic within 500 yards of the Celilo train bridge.
The shutdowns during the day will occur intermittently and likely between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The best chance to avoid these delays would be to travel before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m.
The contractor, Wilson Construction, will have a boat in the water during the stringing operations to help ensure safety on the river by monitoring progress and alerting river traffic to the work overhead. If you have questions about closure times for boating or fishing in this area, please feel free to tune into VHF channels 14 and 16 or call Wilson Construction at 253-820-0148.
For further information on this project, please contact:
Stacy Mason, Environmental Coordinator, Bonneville Power Administration - KEC-4, P.O. Box 3621, Portland, OR
97208-3621; toll-free telephone 800-282-3713; direct telephone 503-230-5455; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emmanuel Jaramillo, Project Manager, Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-TPP-1, P.O. Box 61409, Vancouver, WA 98666-1409; toll-free telephone 800-282-3713; direct telephone 360-619-6116; or e-mail email@example.com.
Laura Loop, Realty Specialist, Bonneville Power Administration - TERR-3, P.O. Box 3621, Portland, OR 97208-3621; toll-free telephone 800-282-3713; direct telephone 503-230-5536; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.