BPA has been asked by PPM Energy, Inc. to interconnect 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity generated from the proposed Klondike III Wind Project to the Federal Columbia River Transmission System. Orion Energy LLC has also asked BPA to interconnect 400 MW of electricity from its proposed Biglow Canyon Wind Farm, located north and east of the proposed Klondike III Wind Project. (Portland General Electric recently bought the rights to develop the proposed Biglow Canyon Wind Farm from Orion Energy, LLC.) Both wind projects received Site Certificates from the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council on June 30, 2006.
To interconnect these projects, BPA would need to build and operate a 230-kV double-circuit transmission line about 12 miles long, expand one substation and build one new substation. The wind projects would require wind turbines, substation(s), access roads, and other facilities.
Two routes for the transmission line are being considered. Both begin at PPM's Klondike Schoolhouse Substation then travel north (Proposed Action) or north and westerly (Middle Alternative) to a new BPA 230-kV substation next to BPA's existing John Day 500-kV Substation.
BPA is also considering a No Action Alternative in which BPA would not build the transmission line and would not interconnect the wind projects.
The proposed BPA and wind projects would be located on private land, mainly used for agriculture. If BPA decides to interconnect the wind projects, construction of the BPA transmission line and substation(s) could commence as early as the winter of 2006-07. Both wind projects would operate for much of each year for at least 20 years.
The proposed projects would generally create no or low impacts. Wildlife resources and local visual resources are the only resources to receive an impact rating other than "none" or "low." The low to moderate impacts to wildlife are from the expected bird and bat mortality and the cumulative impact of this project on wildlife when combined with other proposed wind projects in the region. The low to high impacts to visual resources reflect the effect that the transmission line and the turbine strings from both wind projects would have on viewers in the local area, but this impact diminishes with distance from the project.
BPA described and analyzed the proposed action and alternatives in a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) released in April 2006. This final environmental impact statement (FEIS) contains the changes made to the DEIS, comments received on the DEIS, and BPA's written responses to the comments (see Chapter 10). Additions to the EIS text are underlined. Deletions are not marked. Additional appendices have been added to respond to public comments.