Capacitor station project to increase power delivery from Mica dam

Project will help deliver an additional 1,000 megawatts from Mica Generating Station

Good progress was made in 2012 on the new series capacitor station project required to increase the capacity of transmission lines delivering power from the Mica Generating Station north of Revelstoke.

The majority of the on-site work wrapped up for the winter in mid-December 2012.

BC Hydro is reinvesting in Mica Generating Station to ensure B.C. continues to have electricity it needs during peak times of demand, and is installing two additional 500 megawatt generating units into existing turbine bays at the generating station.

A new series capacitor station near the midpoint of the existing Mica to Nicola transmission lines is needed to reliably deliver the additional electrical generation at Mica.

The capacitor station project is expected to be in-service by late 2013 at a cost between $55 and $85 million.

About the series capacitor station project

The site for the capacitor station is adjacent to existing 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines about 10 km from the community of Seymour Arm, which sits at the mouth of the Seymour River on Shuswap Lake.

The project also includes the construction of the Aline Hill Microwave Repeater Station, which will be located across Shuswap Lake, about 24 km southwest of the capacitor station.

The repeater station is required to repeat the microwave radio signals between the capacitor station and the existing microwave radio network. A 46-metre tall tower will be installed on Aline Hill, on a site next to an existing telecommunications facility of similar height.

Capacitor station update, schedule

Construction of the Seymour Arm Series Capacitor Station began in September 2012 with site clearing and levelling. Then work began to install footings that will support the electrical equipment and construct the new control building.

The majority of the on-site work wrapped up for the season in mid-December, except for grounding well drilling around the perimeter of the station for voltage protection and work inside the control room.

Remaining work is scheduled for 2013, including completing the foundations, installing the capacitor platforms and electricial equipment, and raising the transmission and communications towers.

The Aline Hill site was cleared in 2012. BC Hydro plans to install the new tower with a microwave repeater in 2013.

Public, First Nations consultation

Consultation on the capacitor station continues to be included as part of the Mica Unit 5 and 6 projects.

The BC Hydro Aboriginal Relations and Negotiations department continues to work with First Nations that have interests in the project area.

Who's doing the work?

BC Hydro is using a "design build" procurement strategy for the capacitor station project, which requires the contractor to provide engineering design, supply of materials and construction of the project.

The competitive bid process concluded in 2012 and was awarded to ABB.

The Aline Hill Station work will follow a "design bid build" model, with BC Hydro providing the detailed engineering design.