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B.C.’s Northwest transmission upgrades to be exempt from certificate of public convenience


March 26, 2013 – The Province of British Columbia is directing the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to exempt transmission upgrades that support industrial development in the Northwest from a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN).

Reinforcements and other upgrades to the existing 500kV line from Prince George to Terrace, and the 287kV line to Kitimat, are needed so that BC Hydro can provide power to new industrial development, says the government.

Transmission projects take a long time to build, particularly in northern parts of the province, due to short construction seasons, says the government. The transmission lines, therefore, must be upgraded in time to meet the expected demand for electricity from mining and LNG projects by 2018. This exemption lets industrial proponents know that sufficient power will be available to meet their construction and operational requirements which will, in turn, bring jobs and economic development to the region.

The provincial government and BC Hydro are currently in negotiations with mining and LNG proponents about their energy needs and any contributions needed to support the required infrastructure for energy interconnection and new energy supplies.