Power proposal goes before the public

B.C. Hydro will build a secondary transmission line to deliver power to West Kelowna with Vernon implications

Vernon area residents have an opportunity to spark discussions and input into a new power line.

B.C. Hydro will build a secondary transmission line to deliver power to West Kelowna and Peachland.

One of the options is to construct a new line north on the west side of Okanagan Lake that connects Westbank substation to the existing transmission line serving Vernon substation.

The public is invited to provide feedback on the project at an open house Monday at the Best Western Vernon Lodge from 5 to 8 p.m.

“The existing line into the area has provided reliable power to the communities for decades,” states B.C. Hydro’s project report.

“The new line will strengthen and reinforce the existing transmission network.”

The Vernon route is one of three options being considered.

An earlier open house in June showed support for the Vernon option.

“Alternative one was perceived as more desirable over other alternatives, as it would create a diversity of transmission sources and wouldn’t be threatened by the same forest fires as the existing line,” reads the consultation summary.

“In the event this alternative is selected, there were requests that B.C. Hydro consider adding a substation to serve the Westside Road area.”

Alternative two is to construct the line from Nicola substation to Westbank substation using a different route than the existing transmission line.

The third alternative, which is the shortest route, is to construct a new submarine transmission cable across Okanagan Lake, connecting the Westbank substation to the Fortis B.C. system.

“A number of participants expressed concern that this alternative could be the most expensive, and would impact rates,” reads the summary.

“One participant also expressed concern that fish habitat may be impacted. A number of participants viewed this alternative as the most desirable, as it will not be threatened by forest fires.”