Northwest Transmission Line
The Northwest Transmission Line (NTL) Project is designed to provide an interconnection point for future industrial development and clean power projects in Northwest B.C. Historically, much of northwestern British Columbia has lacked this reliable, long-term electricity infrastructure, yet the region holds the potential to deliver major economic benefits through responsible industrial development. The area is also positioned to provide the secure interconnection point for future clean generation projects. Long-term access to safe, reliable, and clean electricity is the backbone of B.C.’s growing economy.
At present, BC Hydro’s high-voltage electricity transmission grid does not extend beyond Meziadin Junction to the north and Stewart to the west. North of Meziadin Junction, electricity is provided mostly by diesel generation, and the lack of electrical grid power is viewed by many as a barrier to economic growth.
The Northwest Transmission Line will be a new 287 kilovolt transmission line starting from Skeena Substation (near Terrace) that will run approximately 344 kilometres north to a new substation near Bob Quinn Lake.
The majority of project costs will be recovered through contributions from third parties including a clean energy project of AltaGas and an investment from the Government of Canada’s Green Infrastructure Fund.
BENEFITS AND OPPORTUNITIES
NTL is expected to provide a catalyst for a number of economic opportunities that will benefit the region and First Nations communities. In addition to providing jobs to local communities and businesses, BC Hydro will be providing a number of direct award contracts to qualified Aboriginal contractors. Recently, BC Hydro held two local networking opportunity sessions for local contractors and the proponents for the overall design-build
contract and has also provided skills trainingopportunities to Nisga’a Nation and First Nations in the project area.
In addition to contributing to the economic development needs of the region, NTL will also assist certain northwest communities to access the electricity grid, rather than obtaining their power from diesel generators.
The proposed NTL route has been selected to avoid environmental impacts and minimize disruption to the local habitat including wolverine, moose, wolf, and mountain goat populations.
- The NTL is anticipated to be in service December 2013
- Estimated cost of the project is $364 - $525 million
- It is expected that NTL will create up to 280 direct jobs per year of construction
- At 344 km, NTL is the longest new transmission line in BC Hydro’s capital plan.