West Kelowna Transmission Project

Image of Okanagan Lake
We're planning to strengthen and reinforce the transmission network delivering clean, reliable electricity to West Kelowna and Peachland.

What's new

In this unprecedented time due to COVID-19, we want to let you know that this project remains part of our capital plan and work continues as we adjust to our new work environment.

  • Since our last update in the fall, we've completed a detailed review and evaluation of our alternatives for this project.
  • We've determined that the resiliency alternative cannot protect the existing, single transmission line from wildfires, and will not be studied further.

Alternative 2 that involves building a new transmission line from the Westbank Substation to the Nicola Substation using a different route than the existing transmission line remains the leading alternative.

At the same time as the resiliency work was underway; we completed a detailed evaluation of the cost estimates for all the other alternatives. From this review, a new alternative, Alternative 3d, was identified for further study. It would connect our Westbank Substation to the FortisBC system. We're working with FortisBC to determine the feasibility of this alternative.

We expect to confirm either Alternative 2 or 3d as the leading alternative in the fall, barring any further changes to our current work environment.

By taking the time to review the alternatives, we can ensure a cost-effective solution that will continue to deliver clean, reliable electricity to local communities and help keep rates low for our customers.

About 22,000 customers are served by the Westbank Substation and a single 138 kilovolt transmission line. The existing transmission line is 80 km long and runs through rugged, remote terrain susceptible to forest fires and landslides.

We've prioritized the West Kelowna area as needing a reliable supply of power because of:

  • The large number of customers served by a single transmission line.
  • The challenge of restoring power on the existing transmission line resulting from its 80-kilometre length, remote location, and rough terrain.
  • The risk of destructive forces like forest fires and landslides.

Alternative 2 was identified as the leading alternative in November 2016. This alternative involves building a new transmission line using a different route than the existing transmission line from Nicola Substation to Westbank Substation.

Alternative 3d: To FortisBC

Alternative 3d proposes connecting our Westbank Substation to the FortisBC system and would require the following to be built by BC Hydro:

  • A new substation on Westbank First Nation land or in the City of West Kelowna;
  • Transmission line to connect the new substation to FortisBC's Saucier substation in Kelowna; and,
  • Distribution line to connect the new substation with the existing Westbank Substation in the City of West Kelowna.

We're working with FortisBC to determine the feasibility of Alternative 3d.

The West Kelowna Transmission Project will strengthen and reinforce the transmission network delivering clean, reliable electricity to West Kelowna and Peachland.

We expect to confirm either Alternative 2 or 3d as the leading alternative in the fall, barring any further changes to our current work environment.

Taking the time to thoroughly plan our projects is a key component of our project lifecycle process.

By taking the time to do this work, we'll ensure a cost-effective solution that will continue to deliver clean, reliable electricity to local communities and help keep rates low for our customers.

Since February 2015, our work has included area planning and desktop studies, wildfire and geotechnical risk assessments, as well as ongoing First Nations consultation, stakeholder engagement, and discussions with all levels of government.

We will continue working with First Nations and engaging with our stakeholders throughout the planning and implementation of the project.

Reports & documents

Resiliency alternative wildfire risk assessment – October 2019 [PDF, 17.0 MB]

Communication and consultation summary (August 2018 – July 2019) [PDF, 23.4 MB]

Open house storyboards – June 2019 [PDF, 9.5 MB]

Wildfire and geotechnical risk assessments summary [PDF, 272 KB]

Contact

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

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