Substation helps meet energy demand in fast-growing Surrey
With demand expected to double in 30 years, Surrey needs more power
It's no secret the City of Surrey's population of half a million people is growing and residents will need safe and reliable electricity.
As the city expands rapidly and the population increases, demand for electricity is expected to double over the next 30 years. To help meet this need, BC Hydro is building a new substation in the Fleetwood area.
How substations fit into the electrical system
Substations are the link between the transmission and distribution systems. The transmission system delivers the power from the generation source to the substations.
Voltage is reduced at substations for business and residential use, and then shared through distribution lines. BC Hydro owns, operates and maintains more than 300 substations throughout the province.
Several Surrey substations have reached capacity
Surrey is the second largest city in British Columbia after Vancouver. Surrey's population increased by more than 100,000 residents over the past 10 years, and is projected to increase by over 300,000 people in the next three decades.
A number of substations in the Surrey area have either reached or exceeded their firm capacity. A 60-kilovolt transmission system has already reached its capacity. The distribution system is overstretched and overloaded.
The site for the new substation was chosen after a careful and thorough analysis. This included:
- Ensuring there is minimal impact on surrounding neighbours
- Considering environmental impact
- Finding a location where the site is close to existing transmission lines and where demand is expected to increase the most
The new substation will eventually replace four existing, smaller substations which are nearing the end of their useful life.
For more information, see the Surrey Area Substation page in our capital projects section.
What's in a substation?
- Switchgear – Connects high voltage transmission cables carrying power over long distances to the transformers.
- Transformers – "Step up" or "step down" the electricity's voltage. In this case, voltage is reduced from 230 kilovolts to 25 kilovolts – the same voltage customers in Vancouver require.
- Feeders – Distribute electricity from the substation to the customer. Each feeder can provide power to the equivalent of a condo development or 1,000 homes. There are 30 feeders in the station.
- Reactors – Absorb excess electrical energy that could be transferred between the transmission system and the customer. Reactors are simply large copper wires which act like a surge protector.
- Control system – Allows BC Hydro to remotely operate the equipment in the substation from the Fraser Valley Operations Centre.