The Fernie Substation has been in desperate need of an upgrade for many years. Since construction began in September 2016, BC Hydro has been working to replace the old technology, with the new. They reached a significant milestone in December.
The most recent achievement in the $24 million substation upgrade is the installation of the new 25 mega-volt amp transformer and 25 kilovolt switchyard, which were successfully energized. Together, they are now providing power to Fernie and surrounding areas.
“BC Hydro in collaboration with Amex Foster Wheeler and Nupqu Development Corporation has worked safely and diligently to reach this accomplishment,” said BC Hydro construction technologist, Hristo Nokolov. “It’s put us in a great position to hit the ground running in the new year and to be able to meet the anticipated project in-service date, scheduled for spring 2018.”
The substation was exceeding its load capacity and needed to be upgraded. The old technology was installed in the early 1970’s. Under review, BC Hydro discovered that the old system was exceeding its firm capacity by 185-per-cent. By 2026, the load demand would have exceeded the firm capacity by approximately 200-per-cent.
The upgrade is set to supply Fernie with sufficient power, accommodating an estimated ten-per-cent increase in demand over the next ten years.