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Construction Begins on BC Hydro’s Dawson Creek-Chetwynd Area Transmission Line

BC Hydro has started construction on a major transmission upgrade in the South Peace region that will help provide cost-effective, reliable power to the growing natural gas industry.

BC Hydro has begun right-of-way clearing and site preparation for the Dawson Creek-Chetwynd area transmission project that will employ 55 to 110 workers during construction. The new transmission line will double the electricity capacity in the region and is expected to begin delivering power in 2015.

Some facts about the project

Over the next 10 years, the annual rate of load growth in the South Peace is expected to be 10 times greater than the growth forecast for BC Hydro’s entire system.

The Dawson Creek-Chetwynd Area transmission project includes:

  • A new substation at Sundance Lake located 19 km east of Chetwynd near Highway 97;
  • A new 60-km, double circuit, 230-kV transmission line between the new substation and Bear Mountain Terminal, located about 12 km west of Dawson Creek;
  • A new 12-km, double circuit, 230-kV transmission line to connect Bear Mountain Terminal to the existing Dawson Creek Substation; and
  • Expansion of Bear Mountain Terminal to a full substation and the expansion of Dawson Creek Substation.

The British Columbia Utilities Commission approved the project, issuing a 'certificate of public convenience and necessity' in April 2013.

In 2012, BC Hydro released a cost estimate range of $190 to $300 million during the planning phase. The cost estimate listed in BC Hydro’s most recent Service Plan was $255 million. The latest detailed project cost estimate is $296 million.

The revised estimate reflects an increase in the cost of construction resources, like labor and material, a redesign of poles to improve safe work procedures in future, and additional project consultation requested by the Commission.

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