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ALJ/HSY/hkr Date of Issuance 3/14/2008

Decision 08-03-011 March 13, 2008


Application of PACIFICORP (U 901 E), an Oregon Company, for a Permit To Construct the Morrison Creek Project Pursuant to General Order 131-D.

Application 07-07-018

(Filed July 20, 2007)


We grant the request of PacifiCorp for a Permit to Construct the Morrison Creek Substation, a 69 kilovolts (kV) to 12.5 kV distribution substation, as a replacement to the existing Simonson Substation, which is also a 69 kV to 12.5 kV distribution substation, and for authority to remove the Simonson Substation upon completion of the Morrison Creek Substation, consistent with the Final Mitigated Negative Declaration (Final MND) prepared pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The Project

The Simonson Substation is a distribution substation constructed in 1957 with wood poles in a box configuration with wood pole cross arms. According to PacifiCorp, the wood framing, transformers, regulators, breakers, switches, connectors and bus work at the Simonson Substation are deteriorating due to age and severe corrosion, and the substation must be replaced in order to ensure continued reliable service to its customers and the safety of its maintenance crews. PacifiCorp states that the current site of the Simonson Substation is too small (approximately 0.25 acre) to allow for rebuilding it to current design standards which require approximately 1.74 acres, and is also too small to allow mobile substation access. PacifiCorp proposes to build the replacement Morrison Creek Substation on a different site in the vicinity of the Simonson Substation and, upon completion of the Morrison Creek Substation, to remove the Simonson Substation.

The proposed site for the Morrison Creek Substation is adjacent to and located on the eastern side of Highway 101 on private land previously used by a lumber mill operation, accessed from Highway 101 by an existing driveway. An existing 69/12.5 kV line is located along the east side of Highway 101 and is adjacent to the site.

The Morrison Creek Substation, as proposed by PacifiCorp, will be a low-profile design and will have an 8-foot chain-link fence around its 275 foot by 275 foot footprint. The substation will have one transformer, a 69 kV Delta with a 12.47/7.2 kV Wye and 11.2/14 MVA. There will be two 12.47 kV circuit breakers. Underground feeder circuits will connect from the substation to existing transmission poles along the highway right-of-way. The entire area of the substation will be covered by gravel except for an oil containment system consisting of a concrete slab, approximately 50' by 40', which will be constructed at grade and will surround the transformer and the regulators. The containment system would ensure that rain water will not cause migration of spilled oil from the transformer into the groundwater. Construction of the Morrison Creek Substation will be performed entirely on the property acquired from Green Diamond Lumber Company, a d/b/a of Arcata Redwood Corporation, LLC.

Once the new Morrison Creek Substation has been constructed, the existing Simonson Substation will be removed. The transformer and other oil-filled equipment will be hauled from the site to PacifiCorp's Medford Service Center for storage. The existing transmission and distribution taps into Simonson Substation will also be removed. Upon removal of the substation components, PacifiCorp will re-grade the Simonson Substation site. It is anticipated that all topsoil and excavated soil left over from the Morrison Creek Substation will be stockpiled on Green Diamond property as part of the land purchase agreement. Approximately 5,600 cubic yards will be excavated during construction and suitable topsoil will be used as backfill material. All material not-re-used will be stockpiled on Green Diamond property at a location agreed to the property owner.

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