BC Hydro is advancing negotiations, with clean energy producers, aimed at developing a new transmission line for the Robson Valley. The potential new line will improve the reliability of service, connect new clean energy projects and support future economic development opportunities in the area.
As its commitment to this project, BC Hydro will fund approximately $50 million worth of system upgrades at the Valemount Substation that are required for the transmission line to McBride.
Currently, the Village of McBride receives electricity service via an 85 kilometre distribution line originating in Valemount. The line is at its maximum capacity and the region experiences more frequent outages than the provincial average.
In July 2010, the Robson Valley Task Force was established to evaluate opportunities to improve electricity service and foster economic development in the Robson Valley.
As a result of the work of the Task Force, BC Hydro, in conjunction with the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, has now identified that the most cost-effective option for extending the transmission system to McBride is to construct a new 138 kilovolt transmission line from the existing Valemount Substation and build a new substation in the McBride area.
In addition to the transmission line, BC Hydro will begin negotiating Electricity Purchase Agreements with clean energy producers in the region.