West End Substation
We believe the West End Substation Project will provide significant benefits to the community, and we look forward to working with the Vancouver School Board, Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver once we move into further stages of consultation, planning and development.
When we approached the Vancouver School Board in 2018 with a new proposal for an underground substation at the Lord Roberts Annex property, we also approached the Vancouver Park Board about underground rights-of-way through Nelson Park. The Vancouver Park Board preferred to wait for the Vancouver School Board's decision before becoming involved in the process; if the Vancouver School Board had rejected our proposal in 2018, we wouldn't need underground power lines through Nelson Park.
With our proposal for an underground substation going ahead at the Lord Roberts Annex property, the Vancouver Park Board has followed-through with their commitment to lead consultation to further explore potential impacts of underground power lines through Nelson Park.
This Vancouver Park Board-led consultation is now complete, with public events held in October 2019. Visit the Vancouver Park Board website to review their engagement results and impact assessment. These results will inform the Vancouver Park Board's decision on our request for rights-of-way in Nelson Park, which is expected later this year. We've also issued a response memo [PDF, 363 KB] to the Vancouver Park Board's engagement results on our request.
Our electricity system in downtown Vancouver is aging and needs upgrades. A new substation in the West End is needed to replace the Dal Grauer Substation to ensure our customers in downtown Vancouver continue to have access to reliable power.
Our traditional approach to developing new substations is to determine where they're needed, search for appropriate sites, and then build them above-ground. We all know downtown land is scarce and expensive – over the last few years, we explored all available options for a new substation in the West End, which would take up almost half a city block if it were built above-ground. Most suitable and available properties in the West End are currently being used for housing which would need to be removed if purchased for a future West End Substation. If we bought a private property, we'd follow our traditional approach of building an above-ground substation as the cost of private land would make undergrounding the substation cost-prohibitive.
Now that the Vancouver School Board has accepted our proposal for the Lord Roberts Annex property, the property purchase funds will be used for new schools by the VSB, rather than going to a private property owner. This has eliminated the need to purchase private property and potentially take away housing stock from the area, and will result in an out-of-sight underground substation while providing significant funding to the downtown Vancouver school community.
Our Community Consultation Report [PDF, 5.2 MB], presenting the feedback collected from May 1-31, 2018 is available as well as our Community Consultation Response Memo [PDF, 2.4 MB], which includes our response to some of the key themes that we heard through the community consultation process.
This report was shared with the Vancouver Board of Education (VSB elected Trustees) to inform their decision on our proposal for the Lord Roberts Annex property, along with feedback collected through VSB's own consultation.
Now that the Vancouver Board of Education has accepted our proposal, the consultation results will be used to inform our next steps on this project where there will be many future community consultation opportunities. We're also consulting with the Vancouver Park Board and City of Vancouver. Future community consultation includes Park Board-led consultation to further explore impacts of underground power lines through Nelson Park.
Reports & documents
- Summer 2019 – upcoming drilling at Lord Roberts Annex [PDF, 312 KB]
Spring 2018 consultation materials
- May 1-31, 2018 Community Consultation Report – issued June 15, 2018 [PDF, 5.7 MB]
- Community Consultation Response Memo – issued June 15, 2018 [PDF, 2.4 MB]
- West End Substation – Spring 2018 Discussion Guide [PDF, 2.8 MB]
- West End Substation – 2018 Spring Open House Story Boards [PDF, 2.7 MB]
- West End Substation – EMF information sheet [PDF, 101 KB]
2017 Stantec preliminary technical, environmental, and socio-economic study
Stantec, an internationally-recognized independent consulting firm, completed a preliminary study looking at our proposal for the Lord Roberts Annex property. This study looked at Nelson Park/Lord Roberts Annex as well as Emery Barnes Park as potential sites for underground substation construction. While Emery Barnes Park is not part of this consultation, or a property BC Hydro is currently pursuing as a substation site, the portion of the study pertaining to Nelson Park/Lord Roberts Annex is still applicable.
- Executive Summary: 2017 BC Hydro Seed: Technical, Environmental and Socio-economic Study [PDF, 12.3 MB]
- 2017 BC Hydro Seed: Technical, Environmental and Socio-economic Study [PDF, 27.8 MB]
- Addendum 1 [PDF, 614 KB]
- 2017 BC Hydro – consultation summary report [PDF, 914 KB]
- Appendix 1: notification materials [PDF, 3.9 MB]
- Appendix 2: discussion guide and feedback form [PDF, 4.7 MB]
- Appendix 3: discussion guide supplementary information [PDF, 1.2 MB]
- Appendix 4: meeting notes [PDF, 1.7 MB]
- 2017 letter from Dr. Patricia Daly, Vice-President, Public Health and Chief Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health [PDF, 83 KB]
- 2017 BC Hydro – consideration of input memo [PDF, 296 KB]
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