BC Hydro Completes Construction of Interior to Lower Mainland Transmission Line

BC Hydro Line

BC Hydro’s new, high-voltage, Interior to Lower Mainland transmission line will deliver reliable power to BC’s major population centres. The 247 kilometre, 500 kilovolt power line stretches from Merritt to Coquitlam and will help bring power from where it is generated, on the Peace and Columbia rivers, to 3.2 million people on the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

BC Hydro awarded the construction contract for the line in 2011 to Flatiron Graham Joint Venture, and construction began in the spring of 2012. The project includes 642 new transmission structures, as well as 500-kilovolt series capacitor station at Ruby Creek near Agassiz, and line termination work at Nicola and Meridian substations. In the process, it created more than 850 direct jobs over three and a half years of construction.

The new line was built through tough and diverse terrain in B.C.’s southern interior, crossing mountains, grasslands, major rivers, and highways.

“There haven’t been any major upgrades to our bulk transmission system in more than 30 years, and this new line is a vital link for the future,” says Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines. “Demand for power continues to grow and BC Hydro needs to be able to meet that demand and transport electricity safely and efficiently from the places like Mica generating station and the WAC Bennett dam, to major load centres.”

Jessica McDonald, President and CEO of BC Hydro, notes that BC Hydro has completed more than 550 infrastructure projects between fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2015. “Collectively, these projects were delivered more than $71 million under budget.” The final cost of the line is expected to be $743 million.

BC Hydro Line 2





















In addition to the Interior to Lower Mainland transmission line, BC Hydro is reporting milestones for two other significant capital projects this year:

• The GM Shrum turbine replacement project at the WAC Bennett Dam was completed more than $100 million under budget. It involved refurbishing five generating units at the province’s largest facility, which will allow them to generate more power.

• The Mica 5 & 6 project will be completed later this year, within budget. BC Hydro is adding two new generating units at Mica. When the facility was built in the 1970s, it was built with four generating units and space for two more to be added in the future.


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