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West Kelowna Council enraged with BC Hydro over power delay

BC Hydro is reviewing options for additional power lines, 9-12 months added to timeframe

West Kelowna council is not happy BC Hydro has delayed a transmission line project to deliver a secondary source of power for the city.

Called the West Kelowna Transmission Project, the project was intended to off-set concerns the city has no backup power source if the current single transmission line is disrupted, an issue in particular during forest fire season every summer.

“I’m frustrated and confused by it,” said Coun. Rick de Jong. “(The impression) is that council has no say in the matter, after this (project) back in 2015, was accepted by all parties.”

READ MORE: More open house for second electricity transmission line to West Kelowna

BC Hydro issued a statement this week that after a projected increase in cost estimates, the project has been delayed from 2019 to 2025 while other options to minimize the impact of power outages be further analyzed.

The BC Hydro project, West Kelowna Transmission Project, was designed to bring more power West Kelowna, and more cities on the way to Merritt, as the one radio line is used by almost 60,000 people, said De Jong.

In a statement issued by BC Hydro, the original 2015 plans of adding a secondary redundant power supply (a redundant power supply contains two (or more) power supply units inside it. Each power supply is capable of powering and only one runs at a time) are being reviewed in order to consider adding improvements to the existing power transmission line.

“BC Hydro acknowledged that (more power lines) was the primary goal for this project. I feel like we went back four years,” said de Jong.

READ MORE: Hackers seek holes in B.C. Hydro power grid, auditor says

“I’m fearful that this is the first step of them moving away from the (original) line we wanted four years ago.”

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