B2H History

Idaho Power identified the need for more capacity on transmission lines between the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West in the company’s 2022 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The concept for B2H first appeared in Idaho Power’s 2006 IRP, which called it the “Boise-McNary Connection.”

2007
  • Idaho Power initiates the B2H project.
  • Idaho Power begins collecting data for the preliminary routing process.
  • December 19: Idaho Power files an Application for Transportation and Utility Systems and Facilities on Federal Lands (SFF-299) with the BLM.
2008
  • Idaho Power files an SF-299 with the Forest Service.
  • Idaho Power briefs county planning and zoning staff, community leaders and elected officials on the project.
  • Idaho Power discusses the project, including potential routes, with the BLM and ODOE.
  • July: Idaho Power hosts the Baker Valley Stakeholder Meeting to gather input on the community’s concerns, opportunities and priorities.
  • August: Idaho Power presents a proposed route and alternate routes to the BLM and ODOE along with a Notice of Intent to submit an application for Site Certificate to ODOE.
  • September 12: The BLM publishes a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement in the Federal Register.
  • October: The BLM and ODOE host public scoping meetings.
2009
  • January 26: ODOE publishes its Project Order.
  • March: Idaho Power announces the Community Advisory Process (CAP). Contact us at b2h@edudiy.net for archives and information about the CAP.
  • April 10: The BLM publishes its Public Scoping Report.
  • May-October: Idaho Power hosts several rounds of CAP meetings with the Project Advisory Team (PAT), a group of government officials, business leaders, conservation experts and other stakeholders.
2010
  • Throughout the year, Idaho Power continues meeting with interest groups, communities and elected officials to discuss B2H. These meetings including routing discussions with the PATs.
  • April 6: Idaho Power announces its plan to submit the eastern route alternative as its proposed route in revised applications to the BLM and Forest Service, as well as its notice of intent to ODOE.
  • May 14: The Oregon Department of Energy’s Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) holds a meeting on B2H in Baker County and tours Malheur County farms and ranches.
  • June: Idaho Power submits its revised SF-299 and Preliminary Plan of Development to the BLM and Forest Service to reinitiate the federal review process.
  • July: Idaho Power hosts CAP open house events and submits a new Notice of Intent to Apply for a Site Certificate to ODOE.
  • July 16: The BLM, Forest Service and ODOE reopen the public scoping and comment period and announce public meeting dates, requesting comments on Idaho Power’s proposed routes and related documents.
  • August: The BLM, Forest Service and ODOE host public scoping and information meetings.
  • September 27: The BLM, Forest Service and ODOE close the public scoping period.
2011
  • January: Idaho Power hosts a landowner meeting in Morrow County to discuss route options.
  • March 22: Idaho Power hosts a landowner meeting to discuss route options in Union County.
  • The BLM and Forest Service publish the revised scoping report documenting input from official comment periods and Idaho Power’s CAP.
  • Summer: Idaho Power field crews conduct the first round of environmental surveys.
  • August 16: The BLM hosts the first in a series of meetings for the (National Historic Preservation Act) NHPA Section 106 consultation process.
  • B2H is named a pilot project for the federal Rapid Response team for Transmission.
2012
  • Idaho Power, PacifiCorp and BPA agree in January to jointly fund the environmental review and permitting process for B2H.
  • March 22: The ODOE issues a Project Order, informing Idaho Power of the issues, regulations and impact analysis areas it must address in its Application for a Site Certificate (ASC).
  • Spring and summer: Idaho Power field crews conduct another round of environmental surveys.
  • July: The BLM meets with landowners along several new route alternatives.
  • August: The BLM, Forest Service, ODOE  and Idaho Power host open house meetings to update the public on new alternatives B2H is considering, next steps in the federal and state review processes, upcoming documents for public review and future public comment opportunities.
  • October 2: BPA identifies B2H as its preferred option and  top priority for serving BPA customers in southeastern Idaho.
2013
  • February: Idaho Power submits its preliminary Application for Site Certificate (pASC) to the ODOE.
  • April: The BLM and Forest Service share preliminary environmentally preferred alternatives with tribes and cooperating agencies.
  • May: The BLM and Forest Service share preliminary environmentally preferred alternatives with the public in May, noting that the publication of a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will kick off a public comment period.
2014
  • December 19: The BLM releases the draft EIS, beginning a 90-day public comment period that ended March 19, 2015.
2015
  • January: The BLM hosts seven public open house events along the project route to provide Draft EIS information and give the public a chance to ask questions and submit written comments.
  • March 19: The Draft EIS public comment period closes.
2016
  • November 25: The BLM releases the Final EIS and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments, opening a 30-day availability period and land use planning protest period.
2017
  • November 17: The BLM releases its Record of Decision (ROD) for B2H.
2018
  • June: The Forest Service publishes its draft ROD and conducts an objection process with a 45-day objection filing period.
  • Sept. 17: ODOE deems the pASC complete.
  • October 3: Idaho Power submits a final ASC, opening a series of public information meetings in each of the five Oregon counties B2H will cross.
  • November 9: The Forest Service publishes its ROD for 6.8 miles of the project that crosses part of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
2019
  • May: ODOE recommends approval of Idaho Power’s application in a Draft Proposed Order (DPO).
  • June: ODOE holds public hearings on the DPO.
  • October 2: The Navy publishes its ROD.
2020
  • July: ODOE issues a Proposed Order and Notice of Proposed Order and Contested Case. The Proposed Order recommends EFSC approval of Idaho Power’s application, subject to recommended site certificate conditions.
2021
  • Idaho Power and government agencies continue meeting with interest groups, communities and elected officials to discuss B2H.
  • Idaho Power conducts geotechnical, environmental, cultural and other field surveys as part of federal and state permitting processes.
  • Idaho Power begins detailed design of B2H, determining precise location of structures, the heights of specific poles and other details of the project.
  • The BLM continues NHPA Section 106 consultation.
  • ODOE begins contested case proceedings.
  • A court dismisses a challenge to the federal government’s Record of Decision. Federal authorization of B2H can no longer be challenged.
2022
  • The hearing officer in the EFSC administrative hearing issues a proposed contested case order, recommending the council grant a site certificate for B2H.
  • Idaho Power meets with owners of land along the project route to negotiate easements and rights-of-entry.
  • Idaho Power conducts geotechnical and environmental surveys along the project route.
  • Sept. 27: EFSC settles the contested case, unanimously approving a site certificate for B2H.
  • Sept. 30: Idaho Power applies for Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and Oregon Public Utility Commission.  The CPCNs would recognize that B2H is in the public interest.
  • Dec. 6: Project opponents appeal the EFSC’s site certificate approval to the Oregon Supreme Court.
2023
  • Feb. 7: Idaho Power applies for a conditional use permit from Owyhee County, Idaho.
  • March 9: The Oregon Supreme Court upholds the EFSC’s unanimous approval of the site certificate.
  • March 24: PacifiCorp, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and Idaho Power finalize terms of their participation in B2H. According to the terms of this agreement, PacifiCorp owns 55% of B2H. Idaho Power owns 45%. Idaho Power will recover part of its costs by delivering energy to BPA customers in eastern Idaho.
  • June 28: Owyhee County in Idaho grants Idaho Power a permit to build the eastern end of the line.
  • June 29: The Oregon Public Utility Commission approves a CPCN for B2H.
  • June 30: The Idaho Public Utilities Commission approves a CPCN for B2H.
  • Design, bidding, and contract negotiations are underway so that construction can begin in 2024.
What’s next
  • Idaho Power will continue working with landowners along the B2H route to obtain easement options, easements, and rights-of-entry for the project.
  • Idaho Power will continue to meet with community members, representatives of government agencies, and other stakeholders to discuss B2H.
  • Idaho Power will continue to conduct field work as part of the federal and state review processes.
  • The BLM will continue NHPA Section 106 consultation.
  • Idaho Power continue to prepare for construction.
  • Idaho Power will continue to work with BLM and ODOE to obtain Notice(s) To Proceed and Pre-Construction Compliance Determinations required for construction to start.
  • Groundbreaking

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