Transformer Replacement Highlights Importance of Electricity from Hells Canyon

transformer replacementEquipment maintenance in a place most people have never seen is an essential part of keeping the lights on for most people in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.

Idaho Power has begun replacing massive transformers at each of three dams in Hells Canyon that account for about a third of the company’s hydroelectric generation capacity. These Generator Step-Up transformers convert electricity generated at the dams to 230 kilovolts, enabling it to travel long distances to reach the electric grid.

Replacing the units, which were installed when the dams were built 50–60 years ago, ensures reliable electric service for Idaho Power customers.

The company is moving toward a new long-term federal license to continue operating the Hells Canyon Complex. This short video on Idaho Power’s YouTube channel explains some of the costs and benefits associated with relicensing.

Media note: Additional photos of the transformer replacement are available.

Stephanie McCurdy
Communications Specialist