FERC Confirms UEC’s Authority to Build Transmission Line

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently ordered Umatilla Electric Cooperative (UEC) to provide wholesale transmission service to a certain wind energy project, rejecting a protest by Columbia Basin Electric Cooperative that the action would encroach on its exclusive service territory. The proposed wind farm, located near Heppner, Oregon, would include up to 292 turbines and generate up to 500 megawatts of energy.

The project’s developers have been working with UEC on a plan for UEC to construct a 230-kilovolt transmission line connecting the project to Bonneville Power Administration’s Morrow Flat substation in UEC’s service territory. The wind farm is located in Columbia Basin’s service territory, and the cooperative argued that the proposed transmission line would violate Oregon law barring electric utilities from making retail sales of electricity within other utilities’ exclusive service territory. FERC issued a final order in UEC’s favor, stating that the transmission line was solely to facilitate wholesale sales and would not violate Columbia Basin’s exclusive service territory.

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