Project Updates

BPA Hills Creek-Lookout Point Transmission Line Rebuild Phase II

Lane Electric crews continue repairs in areas hit the hardest by the January ice storm. Photo by Shelby Sanford

On May 6, Bonneville Power Administration begins phase 2 of the 26-mile Hills Creek-Lookout Point transmission line rebuild. The project between Lowell and Oakridge includes replacing all wood-pole structures and conductors (wires), and improving the access system. BPA crews will work overtime to complete the task by early August to expedite the project and lessen impacts on members.

During this time, members in Oakridge will be powered by the Hills Creek dam. The dam generates power at a lower frequency than the U.S. power grid operates. Members in the area could see clocks on their stoves, microwaves or other appliances running fast.

While potentially frustrating, this situation does not impact appliances or other electrical devices.

Rebuilding After the Storm

Drive around Lane County and you can still see impacts from the January ice storm. In Lane Electric’s territory, the worst damage is in and around Creswell and Cottage Grove. 4 transmission lines were destroyed at 1 of the cooperative’s substations in the area, leading to power being supplied on a temporary backup generator.

In the weeks following, crews worked overtime to rebuild main power lines. In addition to rebuilding transmission lines, many poles in the area had to be replaced.

In an efficiency upgrade, Lane Electric crews repositioned poles around Creswell’s wastewater treatment plant for better access in the future. The site was built underneath existing power lines, making it a challenge for crews.