BC Hydro at Work

BC Hydro installs new switchgear equipment at Mica

Crew installing equipment above-ground in Mica
Crews install new equipment in the above-ground switchgear building at Mica Generating Station, located on BC Hydro's Columbia River system north of Revelstoke.

Aging 37-year-old equipment replaced to improve safety, reduce carbon emissions

BC Hydro has finished a project to install new switchgear equipment in Mica Generating Station, to ensure the plant continues to provide reliable energy for BC Hydro customers. The new switchgear equipment will also improve safety and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the facility.

The 500-kilovolt switchgear equipment delivers electricity from Mica's generating units – located 183 metres underground – to above-ground transmission lines. The project replaced aging 37-year-old switchgear equipment that has been in use since the Mica powerhouse was constructed in the 1970s, and installed new equipment needed for the two new generating units currently under construction.

So far, the projects underway at Mica have created nearly 1.5 million person hours of temporary work since 2009.

The photos show crews installing the new equipment at Mica's above-ground switchgear building. One challenge was to install conductors in three narrow 183-to-305-meter long tunnels from the underground generating units to the above-ground switchgear building. A small cart on rails was used to transport workers up and down each tunnel.

installing conductors in tunnels from the underground units of Mica. A small cart on rails was used to transport works up and down the tunnel.
A cart on rails is used to transport workers up and down narrow tunnels from the underground generating units.