BC Hydro announces $50 million project for Robson Valley

Upgrades to the distribution system for Valemount and McBride area part of economic development process for Barriere to McBride corridor

BC Hydro chair Dan Doyle tells an economic development meeting in Blue River on Tuesday about $50 million plans to upgrade the transmission system for the Valemount and McBride area.

BC Hydro chair Dan Doyle tells an economic development meeting in Blue River on Tuesday about $50 million plans to upgrade the transmission system for the Valemount and McBride area.

About 60 politicians and community leaders met in Blue River on Tuesday to get an update on a regional economic development pilot for the Barriere to McBride corridor.

Biggest news at the forum was a commitment from BC Hydro to provide $50 million to upgrade its Valemount distribution system.

The crown corporation’s board chair, Dan Doyle, was in Blue River to make the announcement.

The BC Hydro upgrades in Valemount would be required for a proposed new transmission line to the Village of McBride.

They also would tie in with negotiations with alternative energy producers.

The alternative energy producers would pay the costs of the transmission line and a new substation at McBride.

“Significant groundwork has been completed by the community of McBride, clean energy producers and BC Hydro over the past two years that will help set the stage for productive negotiations as we strive to meet everyone’s needs,” said Doyle.

McBride presently receives its electricity via an 85 km distribution line from Valemount. The line is at its maximum capacity and the village experiences frequent outages.

The new system would see the construction of a new 138-kilovolt transmission line from the existing Valemount substation and a new substation near McBride.