A recent EPRI report endorsed two BPA-engineered shunts that allow conventional transmission lines to operate at temperatures above 212 degrees Fahrenheit, thus increasing the line's capacity. Shown here, a BPA dead-end shunt (top) and a wrapped helical shunt used as a splice shunt (bottom).More recently, BPA and EPRI collaborated on research that evaluated the high temperature operating limits of overhead transmission lines. In 2009, BPA engineers discovered that strands of aluminum can provide another path for electric current to travel, relieving strain on components and increasing the amount of electricity a high-voltage power line can carry. In a report released in November, EPRI identified this BPA innovation known as the helical connector shunt as one of three types of connectors that can eliminate damage to components and allow the transmission line to operate at temperatures above 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), increasing the line’s capacity. This was another endorsement for BPA’s helical connector shunt, which is seen as an industry achievement. The helical shunt allows electric utilities to repair or upgrade existing transmission lines instead of replacing them — saving electric utilities and consumers millions of dollars. To date, BPA has installed shunts on several lines and realized cost savings approaching $20 million.