Peace to Kelly Lake Capacitors Project

Transmission lines

What's new

Since Peace to Kelly Lake Capacitors Project (PKCP) was announced, we've updated our load forecast, which was filed with the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) in October 2019. Our planning studies determined that our current transmission system can meet load requirements until 2031 at minimum. Based on this re-evaluation, we've made the decision to cancel PKCP.

As part of maintaining the existing transmission system, upgrade work to address aging equipment at the Kennedy and McLeese Capacitor Stations and at the Peace Canyon and Williston Substations will go ahead. We are currently developing a new project to deliver this work and expect to provide an update early in the New Year.

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. The leading alternative, Alternative 3, involves building three new capacitor stations.

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.

For almost a year, we studied three project alternatives [PDF, 986 KB] as part of the Peace to Kelly Lake Capacitors Project that will ensure the existing transmission lines can meet all expected generation in the Peace Region.

Since April 2018, our work on all three alternatives included area planning and desktop studies, geotechnical risk assessments, as well as ongoing First Nations consultation, stakeholder engagement and discussions with all levels of government.

What we've been learning about the alternatives

To evaluate the alternatives, we assess a number of key aspects. They are:

  • First Nations
  • Potential properties impacts
  • Flexibility
  • Operational and reliability
  • Potential archaeological impacts
  • Potential environmental impacts
  • Constructability
  • Estimated project cost

Also considered in our assessment:

  • Safety
  • Schedule

BC Hydro has identified Alternative 3 as the leading alternative for further study. We chose this alterative because it was assessed as more favourable from overall safety, reliability, environment, constructability, and cost perspective.

See a summary of how the alternatives compared in our assessment [PDF, 77 KB].

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 leading alternative, Alternative 3, involves:

  • Building 3 new capacitor stations along the existing 500 kV transmission lines in these three areas:
    • Segment A or A2 – approximately 100 kilometres southwest of Hudson's Hope (near Powder King Mountain Resort) – this segment is included in all alternatives.
    • Segment B – approximately 50 kilometres southeast of McLeod Lake – this segment is included in all alternatives.
    • Segment F or F2 – just north of Quesnel – this segment is included in Alternative 3 only.
  • Removal of equipment at the Kennedy Capacitor Station.
  • Upgrades to the McLeese Capacitor Station. Upgrades at Williston Substation in Prince George. Expansion is required to the east onto BC Hydro property.

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

Activity Timing
Project announcement and start of consultation Early 2018
Identify the leading alternative Early 2019
Project cancelled December 2019

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, 986 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]


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

Phone: 604 623 4472
Toll free: 1 866 647 3334


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