"B.C.'s economy and our way of life depend on safe, reliable power, but our electrical system is aging," said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines. "That's why we must make investments in our system now to ensure BC Hydro continues to deliver electricity to B.C.'s homes and businesses. The 10-year plan for electricity rates, introduced last fall, will ensure that these investments are made in the most cost-effective way and provide long-term value for British Columbians."
The project includes a new substation in Mount Pleasant and an underground transmission line connecting the new substation to two existing ones in downtown Vancouver and Kerrisdale. The substation is one of the most seismically safe buildings on the Lower Mainland and designed to continue functioning even after a major earthquake.
"We have seen tremendous growth in the Mount Pleasant area with high tech companies and new industry setting up there. We're also seeing increasing demand for electricity in the downtown core," said Greg Reimer, executive vice-president of Transmission & Distribution, BC Hydro. "This project represents the single largest investment BC Hydro has made in central Vancouver's electrical system in almost 30 years and will help to power VancouverÂ’s growth."
The new infrastructure improves the redundancy of supply in the downtown core and provides more reliable power. For example, if an outage impacts an older transmission circuit downtown, the new line could be used to provide back-up power for affected customers. The new line and substation also supplement existing, aging transmission lines downtown and a 60-year old substation.