BC Hydro studying power upgrades

electric power reliability in the North Thompson is below the provincial average

Although electric power reliability in the North Thompson is below the provincial average, it is comparable other areas of the province similarly situated away from major load center, BC Hydro spokesperson Dag Sharman said in a recent letter to MLA Terry Lake.

The provincial power utility therefore has no plans regarding a back-up diesel power supply for the area, he said.

“We must balance the needs of all BC Hydro customers in determining the allocation of capital resources and the resultant impact on customer rates,” he said.

BC Hydro is considering options such as increased clearing of vegetation and sustainment of the existing transmission and distribution system.

This would be part of an evaluation of the Valley’s power supply reliability and identifying any potential remedies.

The spokesperson pointed out that options such as these can improve reliability without necessarily adding to the infrastructure and do not require major capital costs.

BC Hydro is currently conducting a system impact study into Kinder Morgan’s request for increased load in the North Thompson, Sharman said.

The increased capacity would be needed for Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

“While it is too early to confirm requirements or specific plans, one of the alternatives being studied is a new 138 kV transmission line reinforcement for the area,” the spokesperson said.

Details of any new power line, including where it would connect to the existing North Thompson transmission line, have not been finalized.


A copy of Sharman’s letter was released during the Dec. 17 Clearwater town council meeting.



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