B.C. Hydro is asking West Kelowna residents to provide feedback on a potential secondary power source.
According to Hydro, about 23,000 customers are served by the Westbank Substation and a single 138-kilovolt transmission line. That line runs through 80 km of rugged forested terrain from West Kelowna to Merritt. If the line was damaged by wildfires or landslides, West Kelowna residents would be left without power.
Four alternative power sources are proposed by B.C. Hydro.
Alternative 2, which Hydro said was identified as the “leading alternative” in November 2016, would involve building a new transmission line to the Nicola Substation on a different route than the existing line. However, estimated costs for that project have risen since it was last discussed.
“Given this cost increase, it’s prudent that we review the cost estimates and revisit the alternatives,” B.C. Hyrdo said.
The other alternatives all include efforts to build a new transmission line across Okanagan Lake to connect the Westbank Substation to the FortisBC system that powers Kelowna.
Options include connecting Westbank Substation to the DG Bell Substation in the Mission-Kelowna area, building a new substation in West Kelowna then connecting it via submarine transmission line to the Saucier Substation in downtown Kelowna, or simply connecting the Westbank Substation to Saucier.
“We continue to work with FortisBC on the remaining alternatives interconnecting to their system in Kelowna and plan to confirm either Alternative 2 or a connection to the FortisBC system in Kelowna as our leading alternative soon.”
The survey is open until Dec. 12.
Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.