Dawson Creek/Chetwynd Area Transmission Project
The demand for electricity in the South Peace area is greater than any other region in British Columbia. In fact, over the next 10 years, the annual rate of load growth is expected to be 10 times greater than for the BC Hydro system as a whole. This rapid increase is largely due to natural gas exploration and development in the nearby Montney shale gas region. When complete, the Dawson Creek/Chetwynd Area Transmission (DCAT) Project will double the electricity capacity in the area.
The planned project includes:
- a new Sundance substation located 19 kilometres east of Chetwynd near Highway 97
- a 230 kilovolt double circuit transmission line between the new substation and Bear Mountain Terminal (located about 12 km west of the city of Dawson Creek)
- a second 230 kV double circuit to connect Bear Mountain Terminal to Dawson Creek Substation
- expansion of Bear Mountain Terminal to a full substation.
DCAT is currently in the definition phase, which includes project design, environmental and archaeological studies, and First Nations and public consultation. Subject to the project receiving a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the BC Utilities Commission, construction will begin in spring 2012.
BENEFITS AND OPPORTUNITIES
The project will be a major benefit to the local and regional economy by providing a firm power supply to industrial customers wishing to interconnect to the BC Hydro electrical system. Connecting these industrial customers means that they will not need to burn fossil fuel to power their facilities, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, DCAT will be designed to support future expansion of the transmission system in the South Peace area.
- The anticipated in service date of the project is Fall 2013
- The estimated cost of DCAT is $150 - $250 million
- There will be approximately 55 to 110 workers employed during construction on the project depending on the stage of construction
- The project will require approximately 240 steel poles
- Construction challenges includes seasonal considerations where the temperature can change from -20 C to +5 in a matter of hours when a chinook blows in