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Northwest Transmission Line On Line

001From Opinion 250

The Northwest Transmission Line is up  and running

Construction on the line wrapped up on June 7 and BC Hydro has been commissioning the 287 kilovolt line since that time.

“In the commissioning process we  basically look at and test every component of the transmission line” says BC Hydro  spokesperson Leslie Wood.  That inspection includes the new substation built at Bob Quinn Lake and the new  equipment added to the Skeena substation.

Wood says right now,  the NWTL is only providing power to the Forrest- Kerr  small hydro project, “That’s an Alta Gas project, they’re an  anchor tenant, and they are doing  their own commissioning to bring their small IPP (Independent Power Project)  up  so they can start supplying power back into our grid.”  The project is a run of river IPP on the Iskut river.  “ So we’re supplying them with power for their commissioning processes and then when they’re finished commissioning they’ll start feeding power back  into the BC  Hydro grid through the Northwest Transmission line” says Wood.

Imperial Metals’ Red Chris Mine will also be linking on to the line, a connection which  Wood says will happen later this year.  Then there’s the connection to the community of Iskut, a link that will put an end to the use of diesel generators.  “The Northwest Transmission line will facilitate taking the community of Iskut off diesel generation that’s actually part of another project.  What that involves  is, Iskut  is quite a ways north of the end of the NWTL,  and there is a transmission line being built right now  it’s actually to  feed  power to the Red Chris Mine.  Assuming that line is  built to our operating standards and First Nations consultation meets our standards, which are quite high,  we will be purchasing a portion of that line  which will go to a new substation that is under construction and from there we will build a distribution line into the community of Iskut.”

The goal is to have that community on the grid  by this time next year.

The final cost for the NWTL  has yet to be  finalized, but the budget for the project was $746 million dollars.  Wood says they fully expect to come in on, or under that number.

As for the breakdown of who is paying what on that bill,  Wood says Infrastructure Canada  kicked in $130 million, AltaGas put up $180 and BC Hydro has financed the balance. “We’ve got the BC Utilities Commission’s permission to  apply a new tariff, and users of the  transmission line, like Red Chris for example,  will be paying  a tariff that will go to the capital costs of  the NWTL.”

The new line runs 344 kilometers north from the Skeena Substation near Terrace to a new substation near Bob Quinn Lake.

This line has been viewed as the key to opening up development in the northwest of B.C.

http://www.250news.com/blog/view/32695/1/northwest+transmission++line++on+line

 

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