Umatilla Electric Cooperative will see a surge in operations in 2019.
UEC spokesman Steve Meyers said the company has several projects scheduled, including multiple transmission lines and substation improvements for industrial and residential customers, and on tribal and agricultural land.
Two major projects that are in the works are a new transmission line and a new substation in Morrow County.
Crews have already broken ground on the Oregon Trail substation, which will serve irrigation and farming activity in the county. The substation will be located near Homestead Road, south of Boardman. The estimated project cost for the substation is $6.6 million.
In Umatilla County, the company will add a second transformer at the Hermiston East Substation, which was completed just over a year ago and sits at Northeast 10th and Elm streets. Because of anticipated housing and infrastructure projects, the load on the substation is greater than initially predicted. No cost or timeline has been set for the project yet.
The company will also add a second transmission line from Bonneville Power Administration’s McNary substation to the Hermiston Butte substation. The 115-kilovolt line will run five miles. It is currently in the final stages of planning and permitting, but Meyers said no start or end date has yet been scheduled for construction. He said the estimated cost for that project is $6.9 million, and it will serve customers in Hermiston, Umatilla and Stanfield.
He said in the past two decades residential demand for power has increased 30 percent.
Meyers said there are other construction projects in the works for UEC planned for the 2019-2020 biennium, totaling about $65 million.