Electrical Business

Features Energy & Power Transmission & Distribution
Year overdue and $18-million over budget… but finally finished



November 26, 2015 – A year overdue and about $18-million over budget, BC Hydro reports the new, high-voltage Interior to Lower Mainland transmission line is finished.

The 247-km, 500kV powerline stretches from Merritt to Coquitlam, and will help bring power from the Peace and Columbia rivers to over 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 Spring 2012. The initial in-service date for the line was October 2014, admits BC Hydro, “but the contractor faced scheduling pressures during construction”. Based on the contractor’s feedback, BC Hydro says it pushed the in-service date to late 2015.

To help alleviate the scheduling pressures, BC Hydro says its own crews built one of the sections of the line: a 19-km stretch near Hope. In total, the project involved 642 new transmission structures.

The final cost of the line is expected to be $743 million instead of the $725 million in the utility’s original budget.

— Map courtesy BC Hydro