Oregon Public Utility Commission

Greetings Stop B2H Supporters & Allies,

We are at a critical juncture!  The Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) is a key decision maker in allowing the B2H to move forward.  They seem to be wavering on the B2H.  This is why it’s URGENT!   

News Alert:  the OPUC has called an executive session for Monday 4/12/21 to confer with senior staff and the Department of Justice (DOJ) and we hope their discussion with revolve around the implications of “not acknowledging” construction of the B2H!

Please submit comments to the OPUC today, or by Tuesday, April 13. The OPUC is holding a final special meeting on April 15 about Idaho Power’s 2019 IRP (Integrated Resource Plan).  If you commented already—thank you.  If you have not—Now Is the Time--please do it today! 

Submit your comments to the OPUC commissioners by emailing to:  “LC 74 IPC 2019 IRP” in the subject header.  (This is a new address too!)

Your comments should be brief and do not need to cite regulations or comply with any format.  You will not have another opportunity to influence the OPUC for at least another year and much can happen by then.

Keep in mind that the OPUC is primarily interested in the cost of the B2H project and risks, such as wildfires.  Other factors, such as environmental problems and historical preservation, are not at issue in this phase of the project review. To help you quickly gather your thoughts and write a comment, you can use any of the following talking points: 
  • Oregon ratepayers should not have to bear the burden of a transmission line that passes through this state and provides no direct benefits along the line. Any Oregonian who is using electricity supplied by BPA (Bonneville Power Admin) is on the hook for costs of the $1.2 billion B2H line. If you are an Idaho Power customer (call out: Malheur & Baker Co’s), don’t forget to tell them that too!
  • High-voltage transmission lines represent a significant wildfire risk. Fire hardening existing lines should be a higher priority than building new ones—and a better investment for ratepayers.
  • The B2H project represents a substantial financial risk. Idaho Power Company (IPC) no longer has the clear financial backing of their partners:BPA and PacifiCorp. IPC is trying to convince the OPUC that they can still build it and it will “pencil out.”
  • IPC has not fully demonstrated the need for the B2H line because their “IRP plan” does not evaluate all of the alternatives. For example, what if the three existing 230 kV lines that connect the Mid-C energy market to Idaho were upgraded to 345 kV lines? This could yield an additional 345 kV of capacity and provide fire-hardening at the same time.
  • Idaho Power has an established pattern of over-forecasting sales loads and under-forecasting the energy efficiency of their customer base. Over the previous six years, IPC’s projected 2026 “need” has been reduced from 351 MW to 42 MW. The current projected need, according to the Idaho PUC, is for only 5 MW in 2029, which could easily be produced by regional renewable energy projects.
  • IPC has over-forecasted the price of Wyoming wind generation, which makes this power source seem like a less attractive, more expensive, alternative to the B2H line. Idaho Power has “cooked the books” wherever they can to make the B2H look like the least-cost option.
  • IPC is not adequately considering the effects of newer technology in their forecasting. For example, the IRP does not include storage or batteries until 2030, nor does the analysis bundle batteries with solar or wind, which would be much more resilient.
  • Idaho Power has a history of manipulating many factors in their “need” analysis. For example, IPC could put more energy on their lines from west to east, but they choose not too (by using an old Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) policy). Instead, they choose to designate 330 MW of energy as “conditional firm energy” rather than “firm energy.” Therefore, this energy cannot be counted to fill their need of 5 MW “need” in 2029, thus their rationalization of the “need” to build the B2H.
  • You can get additional ideas and background from the April 2021 Action Alert: Link.
Close by urging the PUC to “Not Acknowledge” action item #4 in the 2019 IRP: “Conduct preliminary construction activities, acquire long-lead materials, and construct the B2H project. (2020-2026)” Idaho Power has yet to demonstrate the need for this expensive and exceedingly risky project.

Observe the Special Meeting of the OPUC on the 15th starting at 9:30 a.m. Here is the
link.  As you read the agenda, you will see that there is no guarantee that you can speak and this is why it is important to mail your comments by Tuesday mid-day the latest!

Again, ACT NOW:  a simple email will help! Write to the OPUC Commissioners (new address):
"LC 74 IPC 2019 IRP” in the subject header.

There is no limit to commenting, so even if you wrote last month, you can do it again; or send to the new address.
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Stop B2H Coalition, grassroots people fighting to STOP
a 300 mile invasive 500kv transmission line across Eastern Oregon

Protect Our Land; Preserve Our Heritage
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