The Bonneville Power Administration’s planned McNary-John Day high-voltage transmission line will not only add green power to the Northwest’s energy mix, it will also help green the local economy. Last month, BPA entered into a five year agreement with Alcan Cable to purchase $9.5 million worth of cable for the new 500-kV power line.

Construction on the line begins this summer. The aluminum transmission conductor will be manufactured at Alcan Cable’s production facility located in Roseburg, Oregon.

“This agreement allows BPA to get quality cable for the McNary-John Day project and spend money in the region we serve,” said Larry Bekkedahl, vice president, BPA Transmission Engineering and Technical Services.

“This agreement is great news for the region,” said Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR). “The Northwest has been a leader in renewable and sustainable energy solutions and this project builds on that record. The investment comes at a great time for the region with near record unemployment. Infrastructure spending is a proven way to create jobs and stimulate and an ailing economy. This is a good investment that will get people back to work and improve access to clean, renewable wind power for generations to come.”

“Alcan Cable is very pleased to be a part of BPA’s green power initiative in the Pacific Northwest,” states Ian Hewett, president, Alcan Cable. “This supply agreement reinforces Alcan Cable’s support for renewable energy and environmental sustainability.”

BPA will select a contractor later this spring to build the line, which will facilitate the delivery of 870 MW of energy, 700 of which will be from wind. BPA estimates the line will be completed in winter 2012. It will run from BPA's McNary Substation in Oregon, cross the Columbia River and run parallel to the river for 75 miles, mostly within existing rights-of-way, then cross the river back into Oregon and end at BPA's John Day Substation.