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Metro North Transmission: Vancouver (Mount Pleasant Substation)

To complete the Metro North Transmission project we are planning a new single circuit line.

We're planning to run an additional 230 kilovolt cable to connect the Horne Payne Substation in Burnaby to the Mount Pleasant Substation.

This cable will run underground via Vancouver city streets as we don't have overhead right-of-way (the land under and around our power lines).

This work is part of the Metro North Transmission Project.

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The preferred route was identified based on feedback from the City of Vancouver and the public. The identified route considers cable length and bends, avoids streets that already have high utility congestion, and avoids aterial streets.

It's important to note that construction work won't start until we receive approval from the BC Utilities Commission on our application for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN). If approved, construction would start in 2020 at the earliest.

Undergrounding cable through city streets requires civil work to dig trenches and install duct banks below grade along the length of the road between manholes. Manholes will be installed every 800 metres of duct bank. Excavating, installation and backfill work is done on a block-by-block basis with each block taking approximately 5 to 8 days to complete.

If the project proceeds we're committed to managing traffic during construction to make sure that we minimize the impacts to people who use these roads, and that people know what to expect during their commute.

To connect to the Mount Pleasant Substation, the cable in Vancouver would need to cross the Grandview Cut. Following technical studies and discussion with stakeholders, including the City of Vancouver, we're proposing a walking and cycling bridge that would be built from North Grandview Highway to East 6th Avenue at McLean Drive.

The bridge is designed to improve connections for those using the Central Valley Greenway. It would also contain a new transmission cable, suspended underneath the structure, as part of the Metro North Transmission Project.

The preliminary design for the 60 metre-long bridge features:

  • A 3.5 m cycling path and 2.5 m walking path
  • Lighting for visibility and safety
  • Seismic design for a 1-in-2,475 year earthquake

Through Vancouver, the horizontal placement of the cable underground will vary depending on existing underground utilities. Directly above the line, the expected magnetic field level is 102 milligauss. The magnetic field levels rapidly drop as the distance from the line increases. Considering residential setback in the area is 6 metre or more, normal residential exposure levels are expected to be less than 29 milligauss.

Distance from the centre of line (in metres) Magnetic field level (milligauss)
0 m 102 mG
2.5 m 70 mG
5 m 29 mG
10 m 9 mG
15 m 4 mG
20 m 2 mG

Reports & documents

Vancouver magnetic field profile [PDF, 82 KB]

Open house summary – November 2017 [PDF, 2.2 MB]

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Metro North Transmission Project

This regional project is part of the Metro North Transmission Project that will build an additional 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line(s) between Coquitlam and Vancouver.

Learn more