Seattle City Light, Bonneville Power Administration and Pend Oreille PUD announced today that they have completed a key step for re-establishing a transmission line that will increase BPA’s transmission reliability in northeastern Washington and lower costs for the two utilities.
Bonneville energized a new transformer at its Boundary Substation today, which will allow BPA to reconnect a City Light Tap Line that was originally built to provide power for construction of Boundary Dam. Once it is connected, City Light will use its share of the transmission line’s capacity to deliver electricity to Pend Oreille PUD directly, rather than using BPA lines.
“Working together, Seattle City Light, Bonneville Power Administration and Pend Oreille PUD found a way to increase transmission capacity and lower operating costs,” City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “All our customers will benefit from this collaboration for years to come.”
The added capacity increases the reliability of power delivered by BPA’s Colville Substation and reduces transmission costs for City Light and Pend Oreille PUD.
As part of a partnership started in 2005, City Light and Pend Oreille PUD paid for the new transformer and a breaker. BPA agreed to design, install and maintain the new equipment.
City Light also paid $135,000 to secure one-third of the capacity of the new transmission path. This is expected to save the utility about $181,000 a year on its share of the delivery costs for energy it is required to provide to Pend Oreille PUD as mitigation for Boundary Reservoir’s impact on the Box Canyon Dam upstream.
Pend Oreille PUD will save about $1 million per year on its share of the transmission costs for contracted power from Boundary Dam and other energy deliveries to its Metaline Falls Substation.
Seattle City Light is the ninth largest public electric utility in the United States. It has the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.