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The Observer

Oregon PUC approves Idaho Power's certificate of public convenience and necessity application for B2H project

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By Nino Paoli

Published on 7/7/23

SALEM — The Oregon Public Utility Commission last month granted approval for Idaho Power’s application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for its Boardman to Hemingway project.

The Thursday, June 29, decision means the Boise-based utility’s project is formally recognized as serving the public interest, and it is projected to begin by the end of the year — though the La Grande-based Stop B2H Coalition is considering appealing the decision to the Oregon Supreme Court.

Megan Decker, PUC chair, in a press release expressed appreciation for the involvement of individuals and groups who voiced concerns about the potential negative impacts of the B2H project on their land.

“The time and effort to voice concerns helped the commissioners take the hard look at Idaho Power’s proposal that it deserved,” she said.

The approval allows Idaho Power to proceed with its plans to construct a 300-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission line that would cross five Oregon counties, including Union County. It would connect the proposed Longhorn Substation east of Boardman to Idaho Power’s existing Hemingway Substation in Owyhee County, Idaho. The transmission line will be jointly owned by Idaho Power and PacifiCorp, with the Bonneville Power Administration contracting to use the line to serve customers in Southeastern Idaho.

The issuance of the certificate signifies that the transmission line is considered a public use and necessary for public convenience, meeting the requirements for condemnation of private property. Idaho Power can now initiate condemnation proceedings in court to secure land rights along the path of the transmission line.

The court will determine the compensation to be provided to the affected landowners.

Read the full article on The Observer's website here

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