BC <b>Hydro</b> to upgrade Peachland electrical <b>system</b> | Peachland News

by Dave Preston | Peachland News
April 27, 2011

Construction has already begun on an electrical system upgrade that BC Hydro says will provide better service to Peachland.

“You have one source of power,” Gene Bryant told council Tuesday.

Bryant said BC Hydro identified two areas of concern when it comes to service in Peachland: The current system is reaching its capacity and there is declining reliability in the event of a forest fire or motor vehicle accident.

Peachland requires increased electrical capacity to meet planned and future growth, according to Bryant.

The town is serviced from BC Hydro’s Westbank substation and, for the most part, the transmission lines parallel Hwy. 97. Bryant said that, in some areas, there is no vehicle access to power poles.

“The single feeder to Peachland will soon reach its capacity,” said Bryant.

BC Hydro will spend $2.5 million this year on upgrading service to Peachland, according to Byrant. The project will involved relocating the existing feeder from challenging terrain into identified road allowances. In addition, a second electrical feeder from the Westbank substation will be strung to serve Peachland.

Bryant said BC Hydro decided not to put another pole in. Instead, the existing pole line will be reconfigured to carry two feeders.

Existing 45-foot poles will be replaced by 60-foot poles, said Bryant. “The increase of 15 feet is necessary for safety.”

The majority of the new poles will be located at the same location as existing poles and Bryant said the viewscapes of about a dozen homes will be somewhat impacted.

Some minor pruning and vegetation removal will also be done during the process. There will also be some construction noise, minor traffic delays and the possibility of short, localized power outages.

Construction began this week on the West Kelowna end of the electrical service and Byrant said the project is expected to be complete by the end of October.

Peachland residents will received a project overview sheet containing a map, photos and project description in the mail.

Coun. Peter Schierbeck noted that, because BC Hydro is running the new, 25,000 volt feeder on the same poles as the existing feeder, an accident or fire could still take out all power to Peachland.

“The risk still exists… to take out both,” agreed Bryant. He added that moving some inaccessible poles closer to roads will mean improved accessibility and reduced downtown in the event of a problem.

February 6, 2011 – Tree falling on power line. Affected all of Peachland and parts of Summerland and West Kelowna.November 18, 2010 – Tree falling on power line. Power off for three hours throughout Peachland.July 16, 2010 – Planned, 2.5-hour power outage to repair equipment failure that sparked outage one day before.July 15, 2010 – Equipment failure caused a six-hour power outage.March 25, 2010 – One-hour outage to move an osprey nest from a power pole.July 18, 2009 – 23-hour power outage as a result of the Glenrosa fire.November 10, 2008 – Multiple power outages across Peachland were caused by a low pressure system that swept in from the coast, bringing with it winds of up to 100 km/hJuly 9, 2008 – Multiple power outages due to gale force winds.October 2, 2007 – A 7.5-hour power outage affected 17,000 BC Hydro customers from West Kelowna and Peachland when a main transmission line failed.Tags >> ,
Posted by Dave on Apr 27 2011. Filed under Around Town, Latest Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.