News release

Increasing population and economy drive expansion of Fernie substation

FERNIE: BC Hydro has completed a $27.5 million upgrade of the Fernie substation to meet the growing electricity needs of the area over the next 30 years.

"The Fernie substation will meet the long-term energy needs of the area," said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. "The substation was originally built in the early 1970s and was reaching capacity, so the upgrades and expansion will allow BC Hydro to continue to provide clean, reliable power."

Construction on the Fernie substation began in 2016. Project work included building a new control building, installing an additional transformer and distribution feeder, adding new and improved technology, and replacing the substation’s wooden poles with new steel structures.

This project was completed in partnership with the Ktunaxa Nation Council. The Ktunaxa Nation-owned Nupqu Development Corporation provided project management, environmental monitoring, skilled labour, procurement, and occupational first aid and safety services.

Approximately 33 jobs were created over the two years of construction. Local companies involved in construction contracts include:

  • Cameron Enterprises
  • Fernie Ready Mix
  • Foothills Silvaculture
  • Leavitt Machinery
  • Mow & Snow
  • Pure Quality Stone Works
  • Regional District of East Kootenay
  • Tipi Mountain Native Plants
  • Tri-Kon Precast Products

"The City of Fernie will benefit from this project, not just now, but well into the future," said Ange Qualizza, Mayor of Fernie. "I’m pleased we were able to collaborate with BC Hydro in keeping with the city’s heritage theme on this important project in our community’s core."

BC Hydro is spending more than $2 billion annually over the next decade to upgrade its existing assets and build new infrastructure to ensure it can continue to deliver clean, reliable power to meet the growing demand for electricity.

"Substations are an important part of the electrical system," said Mark Poweska, Executive Vice President, Operations, BC Hydro. "BC Hydro owns and operates more than 300 substations in the province and this project will ensure the power is there for the 5,000 homes and businesses in the surrounding area."

For more information, contact:
BC Hydro Media Relations
604 928 6468