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Victoria substation gets major upgrades to help meet growing demand

Image of Bill Bennett at the George Tripp Substation
An event this week with Minister Bill Bennett celebrated the completion of major upgrades at the George Tripp Substation in Victoria, part of major investments underway across B.C.

$95-million investment in aging substations part of the plan to upgrade and expand the system on Vancouver Island

Victoria is known for its heritage looks and historic buildings, such as the Empress Hotel or the Legislature building. And while older architecture is great for attracting tourists, it's not such a good thing when it comes to powering the province. Key facilities and electrical equipment are aging across B.C., including in Victoria.

And while facilities like substations are getting older, the demand for power is going up.

In Victoria, it's expected to go up around 2% a year for the next decade. That may not sound like much, but a 20% increase in anything is pretty significant. Especially when it comes to a decades-old substation that serves more than 25,000 customers.

To meet the growing demand, we've completed a major $47-million expansion of the George Tripp Substation to help ensure that the entire Victoria area continues to enjoy reliable power.

George Tripp Substation was originally built in the 1950s and serves approximately 26,000 customers. The station is part of a local electrical network that also includes Horsey Substation, located on Topaz Road in Victoria. Horsey is the bigger station of the two; it serves approximately 74,000 customers in the area. It was time for George Tripp Substation to get an expansion, bringing it into the modern era and getting it into shape for modern power demands.

Since 2013, construction has been underway at both stations. Crews installed a new step-up transformer and switchgear breaker equipment, and connected George Tripp to Horsey Substation with a new underground 230-kV cable in addition to the two current 230kV cables which supply Horsey from Esquimalt and Goward Substations. That means better reliability and more control to shift electrical load (customers) to the larger station in the event of a problem.

It's all part of the plan to upgrade the electrical system across the province. Over the past five years, we've invested more than $125 million to upgrade or build new electrical infrastructure throughout the Greater Victoria area.

And similar upgrades are taking place across Vancouver Island and the rest of the province. Most of our electrical system is aging, and our population is growing.

Take a look at projects that are underway to ensure we continue to enjoy clean, reliable power.