Northwest Transmission Line: reliable power and economic benefits for B.C.’s Northwest

Northwest B.C. is home to a lot of iconic B.C. industries, including forestry and mining. But north of Meziadin, it’s never been connected to BC Hydro’s electric grid. Soon that will all change; construction is well underway on the Northwest Transmission Line that will bring reliable power to a region of B.C. that’s never had it before.

The new transmission line will stretch 344 kilometres north from near Terrace, up to a new substation that will be built near Bob Quinn Lake. With the new line comes new opportunities to support local developments and industry, and help move one community off the dirty diesel generation that they’ve been using.

Getting started on 23 million pounds of steel

So far, close to 60 per cent of the right-of-way had been cleared and more than 35 per cent of the access roads constructed . About 20 per cent of the structure foundations are in place and a number of steel poles (called monopoles) have been erected at the north end of the right-of-way. Most of the transmission towers along the line will be similar to the familiar lattice-style structures, which are assembled on the ground before being raised. Together, all of the towers needed for the line will contain about 23 million pounds (or about 10,662 tonnes) of steel, about the same as 1.5 Eiffel Towers.

Construction has also begun on the new Bob Quinn Substation and on the upgrades required at Skeena Substation. 2013 will be a busy construction year, as the rest of the right-of-way clearing and access road construction is completed and most of the transmission structures installed. By spring 2014, the Northwest Transmission Line is scheduled to be in service and delivering power.