West End Substation
We’ll be drilling up to five more boreholes (each approximately 12 cm in diameter) on the Lord Roberts Annex property to gain a full picture of the subsurface conditions. This will help inform our work when we start substation design. Workers are scheduled to be at the Lord Roberts Annex property between July 15 and August 16. Each borehole will be drilled and restored one at a time at the approximate locations shown on the map below. All activities will be confined to the Lord Roberts Annex property, with the playground remaining open.
We'll be drilling between July 15 and August 16, 2019. If you live nearby or are visiting the area, here's what to expect:
- Work will occur Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. We're not working on statutory holidays or weekends.
- The first week (roughly July 15 to 22) will be used to set up fencing and equipment.
- Drilling is expected to begin the second week, around Monday July 22.
- Noise mitigation, including sound fencing and sound monitoring will be in place around each borehole work area during active drilling, to ensure we remain consistent with City of Vancouver noise bylaws.
- The playground will stay open for the duration of this work, with fencing to safely separate the playground and our work area.
- Access to the school yard (excluding the playground) will be restricted for the duration of work.
- Access to the parking lot will be restricted Monday through Friday, but will be open during the weekend, for example during the Farmers Market.
- The area will be restored after completion of the work.
The health and safety of the public and workers at the site will be given the highest priority.
All applicable regulations and codes of practice will be followed to ensure a safe work site.
We appreciate your understanding while we undertake this important work and apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions about the work or the West End Substation project, please contact us at 604 341 1304 or by email.
The Vancouver School Board accepted our proposal for an underground substation at their Lord Roberts Annex property. We believe our 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.
We'd like to thank the West End community for providing their feedback on our proposal for a new substation. We're committed to continuing to engage with parents and residents of the West End. Our Community Consultation Report [PDF, 5.7 MB] presenting the feedback collected from May 1-31, 2018 is available as well as our Community Consultation Response Memo [PDF, 2.7 MB], which includes our response to some of the key themes we heard through the community consultation process.
During our 2018 consultation, the Vancouver Park Board committed to leading consultation, to further explore impacts of our proposed underground power lines through Nelson Park and construction of the planned West End Substation at the adjacent Lord Roberts Annex property.
This Park Board-led consultation is now getting underway, with public consultation expected in October 2019.
Learn more from the Vancouver Park Board.
Our electricity system in downtown Vancouver is aging and needs upgrades. A new substation in the West End is needed to replace 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 will also include 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]
604 341 1304
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