BC Hydro is looking to build approximately 440 km of new, 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines from Prince George to Terrace, according to information provided to the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George.

In a letter to the board dated Feb. 16, BC Hydro stakeholder engagement advisor Debra Lamash said three sections of new 500 kV transmission line are planned, along with three new capacitor stations and expansion of existing substations along the route.

“As noted in my September 16, 2022 letter regarding electrification, industrial customers are increasingly seeking to electrify their operations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Lamash wrote. “Meeting the needs of potential large scale industrial developments in this region will require new 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines and associated infrastructure to be developed from Prince George to Terrace.”

The new lines are expected to follow generally the same route as BC Hydro’s current transmission lines along Highway 16, she wrote. The project would be divided into three sections: a 170-km section from the Williston Substation near Prince George to the Glenannan Substation near Fraser Lake, a 130-km section from Glenannan to Telkwa Substation near Telkwa, and a 140-km section from Telkwa to Skeena Substation near Terrace.

“We have been reviewing preliminary studies that were completed when these lines were previously considered to determine what additional work is needed,” Lamash wrote. “We expect the system additions will take around 8 to 10 years to plan, consult on, permit, design, and build. As noted in my earlier letter, other system expansion including new transmission lines beyond Terrace may also be required.”

BC Hydro plans to complete their studies and design work, and seek the necessary permits and approvals between this year and 2028, she added. Construction was slated to begin between 2026 and 2033.

No cost estimate was provided.

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