Peace to Kelly Lake Capacitors Project

Transmission lines

What's new

We need to increase the capacity of the transmission system in the Peace Region to accommodate additional electricity being planned in the area. We're currently exploring three alternatives to address the area's needs.

Please read our latest update [PDF, 8.4 MB] that provides an overview of the work that's taken place over the last few months and includes our initial key findings for these three alternatives, plus additional information on the alternative segment maps [PDF, 11.9 MB].

The Peace Region currently generates more than 30% of the total electricity produced in the province. With new generation resources being planned, more electricity will be generated in the area in coming years.

We're in the early planning stages of the Peace to Kelly Lake Capacitors Project (PKCP) that will ensure the capacity and capability of the transmission lines can accommodate all expected generation in the Peace Region, avoiding the need to build a new transmission line.

We anticipate that the project will involve building up to four new capacitor stations – used to maintain system voltage levels and secure system performance – along the six existing 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines that run from the GM Shrum and Peace Canyon generating stations near Hudson's Hope to the Kelly Lake Substation near Clinton.

We're currently exploring three alternatives to address the area's needs.

What's a capacitor station?

A capacitor station is a facility where electricity from a high-voltage transmission line is carried through a series of devices called capacitors. This helps maintain the voltage levels in a transmission line, allowing more electricity to pass through a line over long distances.

Each capacitor station would be approximately four to five hectares in size. Depending on the locations, much of the station's footprint would be located within the existing right-of-way (the land under and around our power lines).

Please note that the final dimensions of the stations will vary depending on a number of factors such as environmental criteria, geotechnical conditions, etc.

As electricity moves along a lengthy transmission line, the voltage drops. This limits the amount of electricity that the line can move. Building capacitor stations will help maintain the voltage levels of the transmission lines, maximizing the amount of electricity the existing lines can move.

This project will also include upgrades to the aging equipment that needs to be replaced at the existing Kennedy Capacitor Station.

Completion of this project will ensure that our transmission system can safely and reliably move the electricity generated in the Peace Region to where it's used in the system.

We're currently exploring three alternatives [PDF, 985 KB] to address the area's needs.

Introducing Segment F2

Early results of the studies currently underway have identified constructability challenges with Segment F which is included in alternative 3. As a result, the project team is now exploring a new segment option, Segment F2.

This new segment is 20 kilometers north of Segment F and includes approximately three kilometres within the existing right-of-way(the land under and around our power lines). This new segment will also be included in alternative 3. Note that only one new capacitor station location would be chosen from either Segment F or F2.

Segment A and introducing Segment A2

Early results of the studies currently underway have identified a number of access and constructability challenges with Segment A, which is included in each project alternative. As a result, the project team is now exploring a new segment option, Segment A2. This segment extends 20 kilometers east of Segment A within the existing right-of-way and will also be included in each project alternative. Note that only one new capacitor station location would be chosen from either Segment A or A2.

What we're learning about the alternatives

To evaluate the alternatives, we assess the social, economic and environmental aspects of each alternative. Key aspects include:

  • Safety
  • System reliability
  • Environmental impacts
  • First Nations interests
  • Stakeholder interests
  • Constructability and maintenance of alternatives
  • Visual impacts
  • Property requirements and impacts
  • Cost
  • Schedule

Initial findings

Of the studies we've conducted on the three alternatives to date, we've identified the following:

  • Safety: Alternatives 1, 2 and 3 are comparable.
  • System reliability: Alternatives 1 and 3 are anticipated to be more favourable for system reliability.
  • Environmental impact: Alternatives 2 and 3 have a smaller project footprint and less of an environmental impact as they have fewer capacitor stations.
  • First Nations: We're currently engaging in First Nations communities to obtain their input on the alternatives.
  • Stakeholders: Alternatives 1, 2 and 3 are generally supported.
  • Constructability: For Alternative 3, there are anticipated schedule and outage challenges with upgrading existing McLeese Capacitor Station.
  • Properties requirements and impacts: Alternative 2 and 3 require less property acquisitions.
  • Cost: Alternative 1 is anticipated to have the highest cost due to the four new stations. It's anticipated Alternative 2 would have the lowest.
  • For Alternatives 1, 2 and 3, all other social, economic and environmental aspects of each alternative are comparable.

Proposed Capacitor Station locations

The information we've gathered to date from our studies along with consultation with First Nations communities, the public and government is helping us to identify proposed capacitor station locations within the segment areas. The preliminary segment sites that have been identified are available by viewing these maps [PDF, 11.9 MB].

We're still learning more about these sites and have a number of studies to undertake before we can confirm any site locations. Once we identify a leading alternative in early 2019, we’ll lead another phase of consultation activities to gather feedback on the preliminary capacitor station sites.

The project will ensure the capacity and capability of the transmission lines can accommodate all expected generation in the Peace Region, avoiding the need to build a new transmission line.

The four new capacitor stations could be located along the existing 500 kV transmission corridor between Hudson's Hope and Clinton at the following approximate locations:

  • 100 kilometres southwest of Hudson's Hope (near Powder King Mountain Resort)
  • 50 kilometres southeast of McLeod Lake
  • Near Quesnel
  • 15 kilometres south of Williams Lake

None at this time as the project is in the early planning stages.

We're currently in the very early planning stages of this project and don't expect to start any construction activities until 2021. Project completion will depend on the final alternative and scope selected. At this time the project is expected to be complete between 2025 and 2026.

Construction won't commence until the project is approved by the BC Utilities Commission under the Utilities Commission Act, and the BC Hydro Board of Directors.

Activity Timing
Project announcement and start of consultation Early 2018
Identify the leading alternative Early 2019
Confirm preferred alternative 2020
Preliminary design and regulatory approvals 2021
Start of construction 2021
Earliest in service date 2025


Potential environmental effects are a key aspect we assess when evaluating project alternatives.

While the scope of the project is still being defined, we anticipate completing an environmental overview assessment that will consider the potential environmental effects of each alternative.

The overview assessment will help us compare the potential social and environmental impacts of each alternative as we look to identify a leading alternative in early 2019. In the next stage of the project, we'll carry out field studies to define the social and environmental baseline conditions and potential impacts of the leading alternative.

Regulatory requirements for environmental impacts for this project are still being defined.

Study results will be shared and posted here in our Reports & Documents section as soon as they're available.

We're currently exploring three alternatives for the project and began consultation with First Nations communities, local governments, and residents in April 2018.

Reports & documents

Project update newsletter (December 2018) [PDF, 8.4 MB]

Project alternative maps [PDF, 985 KB]

Project maps [PDF, 11.9 MB]

Consultation summary (September 2018) [PDF, 7.0 MB]

Discussion guide [PDF, 3.7 MB]

Stakeholder notice [PDF, 626 KB]

Contact

If you'd like to learn more about the project, please contact us at:

Email: projects@bchydro.com
Phone: 604 623 4472
Toll free: 1 866 647 3334

 

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