Houle Electric has been awarded the civil, electrical and protection/controls contract to build the new Buckley Bay substation, BC Hydro has announced.
The substation site is located about 3.5 kilometres north of the ferry terminal off Highway 19. The work is anticipated to run from November to the summer.
“About 30 jobs will be created over this construction period,” says BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson. “This is another example of fostering economic development in the mid-Island region. For BC Hydro this project is first and foremost about keeping up with electricity demand and power reliability for customers south of Courtenay, to Denman and Hornby, and south of Buckley Bay, but it does create jobs.”
Watson said about 100 jobs have been ongoing in Campbell River due to a new field office building and early site preparation works for the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project. BC Hydro anticipates announcing the preferred contractor for John Hart in November, leading to about 400 people working at the site during a five-year construction period. Workers and equipment were also on site this summer at Buckley Bay.
“The substation site preparation works were completed this past summer by Upland Excavating. To date, the project has expended about $4.5 million of its $28 million budget,” Watson said.
The project is on budget. The substation’s targeted in-service date is next October.
“BC Hydro will provide the community with updates as substation milestones are achieved, or for broader awareness of project activities.”
The Buckley Bay Substation Project is a significant investment for Comox Valley customers in continuing to provide power for an increasing population and better reliability. It allows BC Hydro to have a more versatile and robust electricity grid for the Valley by going from two substations to three.
Customers south of Courtenay to Buckley Bay and beyond will have better reliability over time as the improved system will provide Hydro crews with more switching flexibility. These customers are about 25 kilometres from the Puntledge Substation in Courtenay. The new substation will be able to provide up to five new circuits.