News release

New transmission line to power development in the south Peace

Residents, business and industry to benefit from new line

PRINCE GEORGE – The boom in unconventional gas production in the northeast has resulted in some of the most dramatic single-industry regional load growth BC Hydro has seen in the last 50 years. The completion of the new 230-kilovolt Dawson Creek-Chetwynd Area Transmission line will provide clean electricity to new industrial customers that wish to connect to the electricity grid. That means customers do not need to burn fossil fuel to power their facilities – which means lower greenhouse gas emissions in B.C.

"Powering jobs for British Columbians is what the Dawson Creek-Chetwynd Area Transmission line is all about," said Premier Christy Clark. "Before, industrial customers had to burn gas to power their facilities. The new transmission line not only makes more projects possible, it means they'll be even cleaner."

"Electricity is the backbone of our economy. B.C. communities need reliable and affordable power to grow and industry needs it to advance," said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines. "This new line will provide clean power and help to enable further economic development in the south Peace region that will create jobs and strengthen communities."

"BC Hydro is projecting unprecedented levels of electricity demand in the south region over the next 10 years. In fact, growth in this region is expected to be ten times higher than the rest of the province," said Mike Bernier, MLA for Peace River South. "This is good news for our region. It means a growing economy and more jobs. In fact, construction of the line created 100 jobs."

The new line consists of two portions running from Dawson Creek to the Chetwynd area. The first portion is a 12-kilometre stretch from the existing Dawson Creek substation to the Bear Mountain Terminal. The second portion is a 60-kilometre stretch from the Bear Mountain Terminal to a new substation – the Sundance Lakes substation – 19 kilometres east of Chetwynd. The project to build the new line also included construction of the new substation and upgrades to the Dawson Creek substation and the Bear Mountain Terminal.

"This line doubles the amount of power we can provide to the region. We know it's a growing region and BC Hydro needs to be one step ahead and ensure we can get power to where it is needed most. We want industry in B.C. to use clean power that comes from BC Hydro's hydroelectric facilities," said Jessica McDonald, president and CEO, BC Hydro.

The growth in electricity demand in the south Peace is being driven by natural gas exploration and the development in the Montney shale gas deposits. The new infrastructure enables these operations to connect to the BC Hydro system and will also support future expansion of the transmission system in the south Peace.

About 100 jobs were created during construction. First Nation, local and B.C.-based companies contributed to the project in the areas of site clearing, substation work, foundation installations and line stringing. For example:

  • 4 Evergreen Resources LP, a Saulteau First Nations company, provided right-of-way clearing and did construction work for access road,
  • Duz Cho Logging Ltd, a McLeod Lake First Nations company, provided site clearing for expansion work done at the Bear Mountain Terminal;
  • Brocor Construction, a Dawson Creek company, helped with site preparation work at the Sundance Lakes substation;
  • IDL Projects, a Prince George construction company, worked on the expansion of the Bear Mountain Terminal;
  • F&M Installations Ltd, a Nanaimo-based company, constructed the new Sundance Lakes substation and installed new equipment at the Dawson Creek substation; and
  • Southview Sorting Ltd, a Chilliwack-based company, helped with clearing and access road construction.

Construction of the project began in 2013. The cost is $296 million. About 11,000 residential, business and industrial customers are being served by the new line.

The project is part of BC Hydro's capital plan that includes investments in the province's generation facilities, power lines and substations to help meeting growing demand. BC Hydro is investing, on average, $2.4 billion a year, over the next 10 years, in B.C.'s electricity system.

For more information, visit bchydro.com/dcat.

Contact:
BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468