State process

Oregon law requires Idaho Power to receive approval from the Oregon Department of Energy’s (ODOE) Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) in the form of a “Site Certificate” to build and operate B2H on land in Oregon. The energy facility siting process requires the applicant to meet all applicable EFSC standards. The process combines state and local government requirements, including land use, into a single decision and appeal path.

ODOE is a state agency with a variety of divisions and departments, including the Siting Division. The Siting Division is technical staff to EFSC and administers the site certificate application process on its behalf.

EFSC is a governor-appointed citizen council, confirmed by the Senate, which regulates major energy facilities in Oregon.

Idaho Power began the siting process in Oregon in 2010 and submitted an Application for Site Certificate (ASC) in October 2018. ODOE issued its recommendations on the application in a Draft Proposed Order (DPO) in May 2019. The DPO recommended that EFSC approve Idaho Power’s application. EFSC then held public hearings in each of the five counties in Oregon that B2H would cross: Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Baker, and Malheur. Members of the public had the opportunity to submit comments on the proposed transmission line at these hearings or during a 93-day public comment period that followed the release of the DPO.

ODOE issued a Proposed Order and Notice of Proposed Order and Contested Case on July 2, 2020. The Proposed Order includes changes from the DPO based on comments received from members of the public, the applicant, reviewing agencies, and EFSC. The Proposed Order recommends that EFSC approve Idaho Power’s application subject to recommended site certificate conditions.

Next steps

An EFSC-appointed hearing officer will hold a contested case proceeding where individuals may request to participate if the individual believes that ODOE did not adequately address the issue raised in comments on the DPO in the Proposed Order.

To participate in the contested case, persons must have submitted written or oral comments between the release of the DPO on May 22, 2019, and before the end of the public comment period on August 22, 2019. These persons must request party or limited party status to the contested case by August 6, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (PDT). Instructions on how to request party or limited party status are available in the Notice of Contested Case released by ODOE on July 2, 2020.

After the conclusion of the contested case, EFSC will issue a final decision and either approve or deny Idaho Power’s application to construct and operate B2H.

More information on the EFSC process is available on the EFSC website for B2H and in ODOE’s Guide to Siting and Oversight of Energy Facilities.

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A diagram showing the steps in EFSC's process for reviewing B2H
EFSC Process Diagram