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

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation demands transparency from leadership

“Right now there’s a lot of heartache.”

Tofino’s council split on ice rink decision

“I don’t think that’s the highest priority of the dollars that we have for a recreation facility.”

“Intense” storms coming to Tofino and Ucluelet this week

“If you are near the water, it is important to be ‘Coastsmart,’ by staying above the high tide.”

Ucluelet’s indoor market keeps vendors humming through the off-season

“It brings people out, which is great and we showcase different talents, which is great.”

Tofino and Ucluelet ready to clean Kennedy Lake

“You don’t want people to start thinking that this is a dumping ground.”

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Most Read