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HomeNewsCommunities engage in upcoming BC Hydro transmission upgrade project

Communities engage in upcoming BC Hydro transmission upgrade project

Community info sessions were held in Smithers, Houston, and Prince George this week about BC Hydro’s North Coast BC Electrification Project. 

This is due to an increased demand for clean electricity in the north for ports, mining, hydrogen, technology, and liquified natural gas. 

With the project, BC Hydro plans on twinning the existing 500 kilovolt powerline from Prince George to Kitimat in two phases being separated near Fraser Lake. 

Project Manager Allison McMillan said these projects are still in the early stages of development. 

“We hope to get out into the field this summer, start our study work, and these [events] are really the first opportunities to engage with the public and get some feedback.” 

She added the plan is for the Prince George to Fraser Lake portion to be in service by 2030, with the rest of the project running by 2032. 

BC Hydro is also working with first nations groups along the route to design the project. 

New capacitor stations are also planned along the route south of Vanderhoof and Telkwa, with a third northwest of Burns Lake. 

Construction for two of the stations has begun, with the Walcott station construction to begin later this year. 

McMillan added power outages due to construction aren’t expected and as the alignment is planned, impacted landowners will be contacted. 

There were 120 people that attended the event in Prince George and 30 in Houston. 

Response for the project has been mixed during events. 

“A lot of people are interested in job opportunities during construction, concerned landowners about where the transmission line route ends, and local communities are interested in understanding the project and the impact of workers coming into town,” were part of the responses said McMillan. 

The last session this week is today (Thursday) in Terrace, with sessions in Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake happening next week. 

Two virtual events are also coming up for those who couldn’t attend one in-person, and information to register can be found on BC Hydro’s website.

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