BC Hydro proposes new powerlines in Metro Vancouver to meet demand

BC Hydro is seeking public input on its plan to build an additional power line between Coquitlam and Vancouver to keep up with the growing demand for electricity in Metro Vancouver.

The utility company was studying a number of different routes to bring more power into the region, but has identified the route from Coquitlam to Vancouver as the best possible.

The project includes one or two 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines which would begin at the Meridian substation in Coquitlam. The lines would move through the community of Anmore, cross the Burrard Inlet via Port Moody, go underground under Burnaby and Vancouver, and eventually terminate at the Mount Pleasant substation in Vancouver.

The route includes both above ground lines and underground lines.

BC Hydro project spokesperson Judy Dobrowolski said the route has not been finalized and they are still seeking community feedback.

She said the project is important because the existing circuits providing electricity to the region are reaching capacity and without improvements, the reliability of service could be compromised.

"We're looking at about 40 per cent load growth over the next 20 years," she said.

Interested residents can learn more about the project at an open house at Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver today, Mar. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. PT.

According to current timelines, BC Hydro has indicated the earliest construction would begin is 2019.

With files from The Early Edition