T&D World Magazine

BC Transmission Completes Cathedral Square Substation Transformer Addition

To increase the reliability of existing electrical infrastructure and address growing demand for electricity in the downtown core, BC Transmission Corporation (BCTC) has installed a third electrical transformer at Cathedral Square Substation in Vancouver. BCTC worked closely with BC Hydro on this project.

The transformer was moved from the waterfront rail yard to Cathedral Square substation in the early morning hours of Sunday, February 1 on a 150-ft-long trailer. A 500-ton crane was required to lift the transformer from the trailer and lower it into the substation.

Cathedral Square Substation Cathedral Square Substation is located underground on the corner of Dunsmuir and Richards Streets in downtown Vancouver. Constructed in the early 1980s, Cathedral Square Substation now serves approximately one-third of the downtown electrical load. Currently, two 25-year-old transformers that have a life expectancy of 50 years serve Cathedral Square.

The transformer:

  • Weighs 176 tons
  • Measures 30 ft long by 12 ft wide by 16 ft high
  • Installation required a 500-ton crane
  • Transported by CP Rail from St. Louis to Vancouver waterfront Transformer cost is approximately $3.4 million.
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