May 18, 2016
“The demand for electricity in Victoria will increase by about two per cent per year over the next 10 years and this important investment at George Tripp will help us meet that demand,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines. “We are making investments like this all over Vancouver Island. In fact, BC Hydro will spend about $2 billion over the next decade on the island to upgrade existing assets and build new infrastructure to support the growing population and economy. These capital projects will create 9,300 person-years of employment.”
Construction on the George Tripp project began in 2013. Project work involved adding a new step-up transformer and switchgear breaker equipment, and installing a new 230 kilovolt underground transmission cable that connects to nearby Horsey substation.
“Between the upgrades at George Tripp substation and the ones nearing completion at Horsey substation, this represents a $95 million investment to upgrade Victoria’s two major substations,” said Greg Reimer, Executive Vice President, Transmission, Distribution & Customer Service, BC Hydro. “Most of our infrastructure in the area was built decades ago and is in need of reinvestment so that we can continue providing reliable power to our customers when they need it.”
About 75 jobs were created over two and a half years of construction between the George Tripp and Horsey projects. Nanaimo-based F&M Installations provided cable installation for the new underground transmission cable.
“Stable and reliable electrical supply is an essential component of our economy that we often take for granted,” said Bruce Carter, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “This improvement at George Tripp and the array of related projects are critical building blocks for our modern community and our modern economy.”
BC Hydro is in the midst of a major capital plan that is investing, on average, $2.4 billion a year, over the next ten years in the system. Examples of capital projects on Vancouver Island currently under way or nearing completion include:
John Hart generating station replacement project in Campbell River (about $1 billion);
South Wellington substation project in Nanaimo ($29 million);
Buckley Bay substation project in the Comox Valley ($28 million); and
Campbell River substation project ($25 million).
The George Tripp substation was originally built in the 1950s and serves 26,000 customers.
The Horsey substation on Nanaimo St. in Victoria serves 74,000 customers.
Construction on the $48 million upgrade at Horsey substation began in 2013 and is scheduled to be completed later this year.
Over the past five years, BC Hydro has invested more than $125 million to upgrade or build new electrical infrastructure throughout the Greater Victoria area.
Over the next 10 years, BC Hydro capital projects on Vancouver Island are expected to generate a total combined GDP of $930 million.
There are about 400 Vancouver Island companies that are currently helping BC Hydro with capital project work across the province.