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New transmission line will provide wind power to several Washington counties

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Friday, April 15, 2011

The Bonneville Power Administration plans to begin construction on a new transmission line that will provide wind power for several counties in the state of Washington.

The new 38-mile, 500-kilovolt line will carry wind power from the Central Ferry Substation in Garfield County to the Lower Monumental Substation in Walla Walla County.

Of the 38 miles, 2.5 miles will be constructed in Garfield County's northwest corner, which will also allow for transferable and renewable wind power from other close-by projects, such as the Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project.

In all, BPA's project will cost close to $99 million and will begin in the summer.

"Wind generation is the main driver," said BPA spokesperson Michael Milstein. "It'll carry about [a maximum of] 840 megawatts of wind energy. It's not all renewable [energy], but the majority will be wind. That's where we're really seeing the big growth in energy generation."

According to Milstein, the state's current system is not capable enough to handle the necessary capacity of wind energy.

BPA's project is expected to create nearly 170 jobs during its construction period. 

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