Info Bulletin

New transmission line starts powering Northwest B.C.

VANCOUVER — Construction and commissioning of BC Hydro's new Northwest Transmission Line is complete and the line is now in service.

The 344-kilometre line extends BC Hydro's power grid north from Terrace into an area rich in mining and clean energy potential. The line will provide clean power to new industrial developments and serve as a connection point for clean power projects, like AltaGas' Forrest Kerr hydroelectric project.

The line, which began construction in January 2012, includes 1,100 transmission structures and 2,100 kilometres of wires through some of B.C.'s most remote and challenging terrain. Imperial Metal's new Red Chris mine will be the first mine to use power from the line this fall.

The Mining Association of B.C. expects that with the transmission line in place, new mines and other projects will proceed, which could generate up to 10,000 jobs over the next several decades.

BC Hydro also built a new substation near Bob Quinn Lake for the line and added additional equipment to in Skeena Substation near Terrace to integrate the line into BC Hydro's system. Over its three years of construction, the project created about 840 person years of employment.

Facts about the Northwest Transmission Line

  • The Northwest Transmission Line (NTL) is a 344-kilometre, 287-kilovolt transmission line that originates from near Terrace and ends at a new substation near Bob Quinn Lake.
  • BC Hydro is planning to acquire, for a fixed price, a 92 kilometre "extension" being built by Imperial Metals, working closely with Tahltan Nation. This line will run between the new Bob Quinn substation and a new substation BC Hydro is constructing near Tatogga Lake.
  • Right of way clearing and access road construction was undertaken under contract by Nisga'a Nation and five First Nations, the transmission line was built under a design-procure-construct contract with the team of Valard Construction and Burns & McDonnell and substation construction work was undertaken by Nanaimo-based F&M Installations Ltd.
  • The project cost is $746 million. The project received $310 million in capital contributions from the Federal Green Infrastructure Fund and from AltaGas, the project's anchor tenant. The balance is expected to be recovered from a new tariff that will apply to future users of the line.

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