Seton unit replacement and bypass project
Our replacement plan
We've begun plans to replace the generator and turbine at the Seton Generating Station in Lillooet that are nearing end of life. The generator was first installed in 1956 and the turbine was replaced in 1977.
In addition to the new generator and turbine, we're also planning to install a hydraulic bypass. The hydraulic bypass is expected to be in place for approximately 12 months while construction is underway to help ensure water can continue to move from Seton Lake to the Fraser River. It will also help mitigate risk of impact to fish and maintain our flow commitments in the Water Use Plan.
Upgrading the facility will help ensure our system continues to operate safely. Seton Generating Station plays an important role in the Bridge River System that spans from Gold Bridge to Lillooet. For decades it has operated at the downstream end of the system in Lillooet generating electricity and serving as a main source of water conveyance for the Bridge River system moving water from Seton Lake and into the Fraser River.
This is a multi-year construction project and we anticipate the need for additional workers to support various aspects of the project.
- 2025-2026: Approximately 40 temporary workers to complete the hydraulic bypass
- 2026-2027: Approximately 30 temporary workers for the unit replacement
Local accommodation for our workers is the priority wherever possible. Accommodations will be coordinated by the contractor in the implementation phase of the project.
The Seton Dam and Powerhouse (Seton Lake) in Lillooet is the part of BC Hydro's Bridge River system which is located 300 km north of Vancouver in the traditional territory of the St'át'imc Nation. As the project moves forward, we’ll provide updates to the local communities on the project activities and any impacts.
Planning for the Seton Unit Replacement Project is currently underway. Construction of the bypass is expected to take place in 2026. Work on the generator and turbine replacement is targeted to be complete in 2027.
Early planning estimates the project will be in excess of a $100 million. The project is expected to apply for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity with the BC Utilities Commission.
Environmental impacts studies are underway, and considerations will be shared soon with project stakeholders.
Reports and documents
- Bridge River newsletter – Winter 2023 [PDF, 3.2 MB]
- Bridge River capital projects update, SLRD – December 2022 [PDF, 1.2 MB]
- Seton Unit Replacement Project Overview [PDF, 2.2 MB]
If you'd like to learn more about the project, please contact us at:
Toll free: 1 866 647 3334