BPA operates one of the world’s largest networks of long-distance, high-voltage lines, ranging from 69,000 volts to 500,000 volts. This system has more than 200 substations and more than 15,000 miles of power lines. BPA’s lines make up the main electrical grid for the Pacific Northwest.
In the 1950s electric service was extended to Allen’s Mill south of Forks; and this additional load, plus West End growth resulted in BPA building a 115KV line to a new BPA substation at Sappho.
The Port Angeles-Sappho 115kv line is 42 miles long. Crews from Olympia/Chehalis maintain this line. It is priority number one at all times. BPA has limited resources to place crews on standby all Winter. This line is also in a very remote area with severe terrain and trees everywhere. (As seen in the photo.)
The ongoing problem with trees on the lines is because BPA does not own the land that the power lines run on, they have an easement to operate the line. That means the trees belong to the property owners that the powerline runs through. DNR, Forest Service, and other private landowners along this line own the trees.
BPA attempts to work with these property owners. Many times with little success …as the trees continue to grow … better stock up on batteries …