West Kelowna Transmission Project
Since 2017, we've been working on environmental, socio-economic, archaeological, traditional use and engineering studies for Alternative 2 as the leading alternative for this project. These studies will take place through 2018 and will help our project planning including line routing and access plans.
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 redundant 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.
With the leading alternative identified, we're now starting to look at preliminary routing options for Alternative 2.
Alternative 2 was identified as the leading alternative in November 2016. This alternative involves building a new transmission line from Nicola Substation to Westbank Substation.
We identified the leading alternative after studying three alternatives for a year-and-a-half.
Alternative 1: To Vernon Terminal Substation
Build a new transmission line on the west side of Okanagan Lake, connecting Westbank Substation to the Vernon Terminal Substation.
Alternative 2: To Nicola Substation (leading alternative)
Build a new transmission line from Nicola Substation to Westbank Substation using a different route than the existing transmission line.
Alternative 3: To FortisBC
Build a new transmission line, including a submarine cable across Okanagan Lake, connecting Westbank Substation to the FortisBC system.
Alternative 2 was identified as the leading alternative for the following reasons:
- It's been assessed as more favourable than Alternative 1: to Vernon Terminal Substation and Alternative 3: to FortisBC System from an overall safety, environmental, socio-economic and cost perspective.
- It poses low geotechnical risk which can be reduced by routing and design of the new line. It is unlikely that an event (e.g. landslide) would impact the existing line and the new line at the same time.
- It has the second lowest fire risk which can be reduced by the use of steel poles, routing, design, adequate separation from the existing line and vegetation management.
This secondary line will provide redundant supply to the community, which means that there is more than one transmission line providing power, and backup power, to West Kelowna and Peachland. This project will ensure that if one source is taken out of service, the other can supply the community with electricity.
We're still in the early stages of this project. Consultation is ongoing. We anticipate identifying a preferred alternative in 2019.
|Project launch||February 2015|
|2016 to 2018
|2018 to 2019|
Since February 2015, our work has included area planning and desktop studies, wildfire risk 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
Open house storyboards [PDF, 9.2 MB]
Study area and alternative map [PDF, 506 KB]
Wildfire and geotechnical risk assessments summary [PDF, 272 KB]
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