On Friday, March 8, the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum presents Libby Burke, BPA Library and Visitor Center archivist.

Burke will give a 7 p.m. talk about the Discovery Center’s new exhibit High Voltage - BPA & the HVDC Test Center 1963-2017 after a 6 p.m. dinner.

The talk will feature historical photos and film. Burke has curated two sets of BPA historical films, with a third set coming this year. She has worked nearly 20 years in archives at the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections, the National Archives and Records Administration in Seattle, and the Lyman Museum and Mission House in Hilo, Hawaii. She has been at BPA’s Library in Portland since 2012.

 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 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.  

Cost for the dinner and the program is $18 and the program only is $5. Buy tickets prior to March 6 by calling 541-296-8600 #201.   

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