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HIGH VOLTAGE || BPA & the HVDC Test Center 1963-2017

Opening March 8 and running through the end of May is a new exhibit,  designed and presented by the Bonneville Power Administration examining the history of the High Voltage Direct Current Test Center in Wasco County.  The HVDC Test Center, the first facility of its kind in the United States, was established to use emerging industry knowledge on conversion between alternating current and direct current.

Tests conducted at the HVDC Test Center gave BPA the information it needed to design a system to transmit power from what would become BPA’s Celilo Converter Station, near The Dalles, Or. to the Sylmar Converter Station at Los Angeles Water and Power in Calif.

This system, the Pacific Northwest-Pacific Southwest Intertie, used an 846-mile long direct current line that was heralded as the longest of its kind in the world.

The exhibit is an information – rich graphic environment, three years in the making. Over 30 boxes of historical plans, equipment instructions and original day-to-day test documentation and photo were salvaged to create segments of the exhibit.  The historical importance of BPA’s great engineering advancements that took long distance transmission into a new era is one not to be missed.


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