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BPA Upgrades Double Central Oregon's Transmission Capacity

Senator Ron Wyden was in Central Oregon Friday to celebrate what’s being called a significant advancement in the region’s ability to meet a growing demand for electricity. 

Facebook data center in Prineville

Facebook data center in Prineville

David Nogueras/OPB

Officials with the Bonneville Power Administration say they’ve completed a major upgrade to the Ponderosa Substation.

That work essentially doubles the region’s transmission capacity and ensures companies that operate data centers in the region - like Facebook does - and Apple soon will, have the power they need.

But Wyden says it’s not just about data centers.  He recently became Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  The Senators says infrastructure is going to be key in diversifying region’s economic development. 

“Any business that has looked at Central Oregon favorably, because of the water situation, because of the workforce, because of the quality of life, can now check off the box that Central Oregon can deliver on the energy issue,” said Wyden.

At the meeting the Senator credited the project’s numerous stakeholders for getting the job done more than a year and a half ahead of schedule.  Cost of the upgrades was around $28 million.  

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