BCHydro $52M project nears finish at Long Beach

By this time next year the West Coast will be twice as powerful.

BC Hydro’s $52 million Long Beach Area Reinforcement Project is hugging its final corner and is expected to be complete in the next 12 months.

The Great Central Lake and Long Beach substations are both 50 years old and nearing capacity so Hydro is replacing them with new transformers that have over twice the capacity, according to Hydro spokesperson Karla Louwers.

“The project consists of replacing the two existing substations with the upgraded substations providing additional capacity to ensure we can meet the reliability needs and increased power needs of the West Coast for the next 30-50 years,” she said.

“It’s a significant investment into our transmission infrastructure.”

This investment carries an estimated price tag of $52 million. Louwers said the investment was needed because of the West Coast’s rising energy demands, which go up by about 1 per cent each year.

“For reliability reasons and to ensure that we could continue to meet the needs of the West Coast we needed to reinvest into our infrastructure,” she said.

Hydro kicked off the project last year and the final construction contract has been awarded to Nanaimo-based FM Installations who are expected to start this month and will take about 12 months to finish up.

“By summer 2015 we expect the new substations to be commissioned and then once commissioned the old equipment and redundant structures will be removed,” Louwers said.

She advised highway commuters can expect to see an increase in truck-traffic along the Highway as equipment and people are delivered to the sites.

At the Long Beach site, Hydro developed a Construction Environmental Management Plan that included plans for emergency spill response, hazardous materials management, sediment control, environmental monitoring, and site restoration, according to Louwers.

“It’s a way to ensure that we protect the sensitive environment that the substation exists in,” she said adding the project has not run into any environmental incidents to date.

The tree-clearing work at the Long Beach substation was completed by the Ucluelet First Nation in March, according to Louwers.

She said further clearing around the substation will occur in late 2014 and early 2015 to make room for roughly 512 metres of rerouted transmission line along Highway 4.

reporter@westerlynews.ca

Just Posted

Extreme waves and king tides expected around Tofino and Ucluelet this weekend

Extreme wave hazard warning at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

Ucluelet says goodbye to town’s only sports bar

“It started off big and we’re on the backside of the mountain now.”

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Four Tofino businesses up for Vancouver Island Excellence Awards

Tofino’s business community is shining with four Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards… Continue reading

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Most Read