News Release

Mica Generating Station Units 5 and 6

BC Hydro is reinvesting in the Mica Generating Station to ensure British Columbians continue to have electricity they need during peak times of demand.

Originally designed as a six-unit facility, the installation of generating Units 5 and 6 were deferred. Currently, Mica’s four generating units produce a maximum capacity of 1,805 megawatts (MW). Now that additional capacity is needed, BC Hydro will install the two additional units. Each will add approximately 500 MW of new and dependable generating capacity - enough power for 80,000 homes during peak demand.

Mica Generating Station is located on the Columbia River 135 kilometres north of Revelstoke and represents about 15 per cent of BC Hydro’s capacity to produce electricity.

CONSTRUCTION DETAILS
Construction work for each unit involves the following main steps:

  • Delivering and installing the new turbine and generator, spiral case, draft tube, switchgear and other electrical equipment.
  • Commissioning and testing the generating unit.
  • Constructing a new capacitor station near Seymour Arm.

Construction will begin in spring 2011. Unit 5 is anticipated to be in-service by October 2014 and Unit 6 is targeted to be online in 2015.

BENEFITS AND OPPORTUNITIES
This addition to BC Hydro’s generating system is cost-effective, has a low environmental impact, and will improve system reliability and operation.

The project is expected to create 800 person-years of direct employment. Workers will be housed at BC Hydro’s Mica Creek camp.

BC Hydro and its contractors are committed to local hiring and in the first year, a number of skilled tradespeople will be hired, including carpenters, cement masons, ironworkers and electricians. Significant First Nations procurement opportunities are anticipated throughout the project.

In 2009, BC Hydro allocated $60,000 to help fund trades training programs in
the communities of Revelstoke, Golden, Valemount and Nakusp to build trades
capacity in the communities. BC Hydro will provide another $60,000 towards
trades training programs in 2011.

QUICK FACTS

  • Project cost: $700 – $800 million.
  • Project is expected to create 800 person-years of direct employment.
  • Mica facility accounts for roughly 15 per cent of BC Hydro’s capacity.
  • Target in-service date for Unit 5 is October 2014 and 2015 for Unit 6.
  • Project will add approximately 1000 MW of generation capacity, enough to power 80,000 homes during peak periods of demand.