FLEETWOOD — BC Hydro opened a new $94 million substation in Fleetwood this week.
it’s hoped the new facility will help meet increasing electricity demands in one of the fastest growing cities in the province.
Demand for electricity in Surrey has increased by 28 per cent over the past ten years, according to BC Hydro, and is expected to increase by another 35 per cent over the next decade.
The substation will offload capacity from four existing, smaller substations that are at or nearing capacity and will no longer be able to deliver the additional power needed.
“Surrey continues to grow at phenomenal rate,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines. “Recently, the city announced new economic development plans that’ll poise Surrey as a centre for smart technology, innovation and economic growth, including the development of a new film and television studio. All of this development requires reliable power and that’s why new infrastructure, like this substation BC Hydro has built, is essential.”
Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Peter Fassbender says the new substation will provide a reliable power supply for Surrey for the next 30 years.
“The project has already contributed to the local economy – construction created about 100 jobs and many Surrey-based companies and contractors were involved in construction,” said Fassbender.
Construction of the substation began in 2014 and several Surrey-based companies were involved in construction: Jacob Bros built the roads to the substation and prepared the site for construction, and Thermal Design Insulation helped with the construction of the buildings that house important electrical equipment.
BC Hydro also announced it will begin upgrading the transmission network in the South Surrey area in 2017. These upgrades are required to ensure that electricity can be transported to where it is needed as the population continues to grow. The project involves replacing five kilometres of a transmission line along Highway 10 and making upgrades to two existing substations – the Nicomekl and White Rock substations.
The transmission upgrades are expected to be complete in 2018 with a projected cost of about $35 million.
“These projects in Surrey are one piece of BC Hydro’s comprehensive capital plan to invest in aging infrastructure and new projects to plan for the future needs of the province,” said Chris O’Riley, Deputy CEO of BC Hydro. “We’re investing, more than two billion a year, over the next 10 years, in B.C.’s electricity system.”
BC Hydro owns and operates more than 300 substations in B.C. Substations receive high voltage power from transmission lines and transform that power to a lower voltage so it can be distributed to homes and businesses.