By Mitch Colburn, Vice President of Planning, Engineering and Construction
Reliable, affordable, clean energy has been a hallmark of Idaho Power’s 105-year history.
Today, we’re building on that tradition with an ambitious goal: providing 100% clean energy by 2045. Achieving this goal will take a lot of work and ingenuity. And we’ll face plenty of challenges.
The good news is that we’ve got a great start. Almost half our energy today comes from clean hydropower.
As we pursue our goal, we expect to invest in additional clean, affordable sources. Just as important, we need a stronger, more connected grid to balance energy from those sources across multiple regions so we can provide as much energy as our customers need when they need it.
That’s why we plan to build the Boardman to Hemingway (B2H) transmission line. This 290-mile, 500-kilovolt clean-energy pipeline will stretch from Boardman, Oregon, to the Hemingway Substation southwest of Boise.
Since 2006, our research has shown that B2H is the most cost-effective, lowest-risk way to meet extra demand brought on by a dizzying pace of growth in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.
B2H will allow more efficient use of energy resources and help keep prices affordable. It will allow Idaho Power to import clean energy from the Pacific Northwest during the summer, when our customers’ demand peaks. And in the winter, our neighbors to the west can access clean energy from outside their region to heat their homes and businesses.
Transmission projects like B2H are important not just to Idaho Power, but to energy providers all over the country. With more connections between regions, companies can satisfy customers’ needs by buying clean energy produced outside their service areas — even if it’s hundreds of miles away — when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing in their own areas.
Transmission line projects like B2H will benefit customers of Idaho Power and dozens more energy companies like PacifiCorp and the Bonneville Power Administration, which are working with us to develop the B2H project.
We’re making good progress. BLM and Forest Service permits have been secured and the project is well into the state of Oregon’s permitting process. We continue to work closely with landowners, local governments and other stakeholders in Idaho and Oregon as we look for ways to minimize the project’s impacts. The project is planned to be in service in 2026 or later.
For more information on B2H, including a video explaining its purpose and need, visit BoardmantoHemingway.com.