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Take Action to Support the Boardman to Hemingway Clean Energy Superhighway

Pretty much everyone in Idaho has heard about the 100% clean energy goal of our primary energy provider, Idaho Power, which serves over 600,000 customers. In order to achieve this goal by 2045, Idaho Power needs to secure the transmission lines necessary to support Idaho’s electrical grid. Transmission lines are like the interstate highway system for electricity and an essential part of a reliable grid. 

According to Idaho Power, Boardman to Hemingway, known as “B2H,” is a key piece of the clean energy puzzle. The proposed 500-kilovolt transmission line will run approximately 290 miles across eastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho. The transmission line could deliver 1,000 megawatts of clean power in either direction simultaneously. That’s a lot of power, considering that one megawatt can power 750 homes. B2H would connect the proposed Longhorn Substation four miles east of Boardman, Oregon, to Idaho Power’s existing Hemingway Substation in Owyhee County, Idaho.

Almost half of Idaho Power’s energy comes from hydropower, but in order to incorporate wind and solar, the transmission lines are necessary to deliver clean, reliable, and affordable power to customers. Since 2006, Idaho Power’s research has shown that B2H is the most cost-effective, lowest-risk way to meet extra demand brought on by the tremendous population growth in southern Idaho.

B2H allows Idaho Power to import clean energy from outside of Idaho during times when their customers’ demands peak. In winter, Idaho Power can help our neighbors to the west access clean energy from our state to heat their homes and businesses. Connections are hugely important to a reliable grid, so that when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing, customers don’t notice any disruption to their power.  

B2H will benefit customers of Idaho Power as well as PacifiCorp and the Bonneville Power Administration, collaborators on the project. There is a lot of permitting at the local, state, and federal level to make a large project like B2H happen, but Idaho Power is planning on it being up and running in 2026 or later. 

According to Idaho Power’s VP of Planning, Engineering, and Construction Mitch Colburn, B2H is a cleaner, less expensive, lower-risk solution than building new carbon-emitting plants, and it’s less expensive than building new solar or battery storage plants. It will improve reliability, reducing the likelihood and duration of outages while helping to keep energy prices affordable.

Two other utilities, PacifiCorp and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), are collaborating on B2H with Idaho Power, which is leading out on federal, state and local permitting efforts. PacifiCorp owns 55% of the project. According to the terms of a non-binding agreement that all three utilities signed in early 2022, Idaho Power would own 45% of B2H. BPA would pay Idaho Power to deliver energy across Idaho Power equipment to BPA customers in eastern Idaho.

The next step in the journey to bringing B2H online is for Idaho Power to receive a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity in Oregon related to the Boardman to Hemingway Clean Energy Superhighway. If you are supportive of more clean energy options in Idaho, you can email, mail or call in with comments to the state’s Public Utility Commission. The email address is or you can send them by mail to Oregon Public Utility Commission, ATTN: AHD – PCN 5, P.O. Box 1088, Salem, 97308. You can also submit comments via phone by calling 800-522-2404.

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