The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office on May 12 put out for notice BC Hydro‘s proposal to install a 500-MW generating unit into an existing turbine bay at the Revelstoke Generating Station, located 5 kilometers north of the City of Revelstoke.
A new capacitor station would also be built on an existing transmission line approximately 19 kilometers west of Summerland. The capacitor station is needed to reliably deliver the extra electricity to the BC Hydro grid.
BC Hydro must obtain an environmental assessment certificate before any work can be undertaken on the project. Prior to submission of an application for a certificate, the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) must first approve Application Information Requirements. The Application Information Requirements will specify the studies to be conducted and the detailed information to be provided by BC Hydro in its application. EAO has received draft Application Information Requirements from the utility and now invites comments on this draft. There will be two local open houses held on May 25 and May 26, with the comment period to run until June 20.
The Revelstoke Generating Station is part of BC Hydro’s Columbia River hydroelectric system, which also includes the Mica Dam and Kinbasket Reservoir located upstream, as well as Hugh Keenleyside Dam and Arrow Lakes Reservoir situated downstream. The Revelstoke facilities include a large concrete gravity dam at the generating station, an adjacent earthfill embankment dam up the west side of the reservoir, a gated spillway, penstocks, powerplant, and switchgear building.
The generating station was originally designed for six units. Construction on the first four units began in early 1977, and the powerhouse began operations in 1984. The fifth unit was added more than 20 years later and brought into service in 2010. The current facility consists of five generating units with a combined installed capacity of 2,480 MW, which represents approximately 23% of the installed capacity of BC Hydro’s heritage resources as described in BC Hydro’s 2013 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).