On February 5, 2015, the Province of British Columbia and BC Hydro announced the West Kelowna Transmission Project. BC Hydro is in the early planning stage for a new, secondary transmission line delivering clean, reliable power to the communities of West Kelowna and Peachland. About 22,000 customers are served by the Westbank Substation and a single 138 kilovolt transmission line. The existing transmission line is 80 kilometers long and runs through rugged, remote terrain susceptible to forest fires and landslides.
A Project Review Committee (PRC) was established and is being led by Westbank First Nation with the support of, Upper Nicola Band, Okanagan Indian Band, and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. The PRC and BC Hydro studied three alternatives for a new, secondary transmission line.
In the autumn of 2016, BC Hydro, with agreement from the Nation, identified Alternative 2: Westbank Substation to Nicola Substation as the leading alternative. This alternative involves building a new transmission line from Nicola Substation to Westbank Substation using a different route than the existing transmission line.
During the next stage of the project BC Hydro, with support from the PRC, will undertake detailed environmental, socio-economic, archaeological, traditional use and engineering studies for Alternative 2 as the leading alternative.
There are no plans to continue to study Alternative 1 as it poses the highest level of safety, environmental, socio-economic and cost risk. At the end of this process we will make a decision on our preferred alternative, expected to be made in 2017/2018.
For more information on WKTP, you can visit BC Hydro’s website: www.bchydro.com/wktp
BC Hydro, Aboriginal Relations:
Rachelle Trent, firstname.lastname@example.org