News Release

BC Hydro starting negotiations for New Robson Valley Transmission Project

Blue River, B.C. – BC Hydro is advancing negotiations, with clean energy producers, aimed at developing a new transmission line for the Robson Valley. The potential new line will improve the reliability of service, connect new clean energy projects and support future economic development opportunities in the area.

As its commitment to this project, BC Hydro will fund approximately $50 million worth of system upgrades at the Valemount Substation that are required for the transmission line to McBride.

Currently, the Village of McBride receives electricity service via an 85 kilometre distribution line originating in Valemount. The line is at its maximum capacity and the region experiences more frequent outages than the provincial average.

In July 2010, the Robson Valley Task Force was established to evaluate opportunities to improve electricity service and foster economic development in the Robson Valley.

As a result of the work of the Task Force, BC Hydro, in conjunction with the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, has now identified that the most cost-effective option for extending the transmission system to McBride is to construct a new 138 kilovolt transmission line from the existing Valemount Substation and build a new substation in the McBride area.

In addition to the transmission line, BC Hydro will begin negotiating Electricity Purchase Agreements with clean energy producers in the region.

Quotes

Hon. Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George – Valemount
“The announcement today is a result of years of work as an MLA with mayors and council, power producers, economic development officers, BC Hydro and the provincial government. The need for additional capacity and service reliability has been a significant issue for residents and industry alike. A new transmission line will help create jobs, secure power and act as a badly needed catalyst for economic development in the Robson Valley.”

Hon. Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
“The potential for future economic growth in this area of the province, especially for the industrial sector, is significant. This opportunity can’t reach its full potential without a reliable source of electricity that businesses can rely on when they need it most. The announcement demonstrates our government’s continued commitment to the success of the economic development pilots and to the Barriere-McBride region.”

Dan Doyle, Chair, BC Hydro
“Significant groundwork has been completed by the community of McBride, clean energy producers and BC Hydro over the past two years that will help set the stage for productive negotiations as we strive to meet everyone’s needs.”

Facts

  • McBride is located in the scenic Robson Valley, approximately 200 kilometres east of Prince George.
  • BC Hydro will fund approximately $50 million worth of system upgrades at the Valemount Substation that are required for the transmission line to McBride.
  • Clean energy producers in the region will fund the costs of the transmission line and a new substation at McBride.

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For more information, please contact:

BC Hydro Media Relations
Direct: 604-928-6468
www.bchydro.com/media