Anyone who has been driving in or out of Invermere this past month has likely seen the boosted construction occurring around the BC Hydro Athalmer Substation, located at the crossroads of Hwy. 93/95 outside of Invermere.
The Athalmer Substation Expansion Project is underway to expand the substation in order to improve reliability and provide greater capacity to support growth in the Columbia Valley.
According to a correspondence report given to the Regional District of East Kootenay, the expansion will include a new control room building and switchyard.
Two existing transformers will also be replaced with two larger capacity transformers, and the substation site will be expanded as a whole.
The report went on to say that the project construction was already well underway, and that the civil work in the new switchyard and the construction of the control room was completed.
Installation and testing the electrical equipment in the switchyard and control building would be the next stage of this portion of the project.
In order to complete conversion work at the growing substation, though, BC Hydro is required to make planned power outages.
These outages will occur sometime in June.
Customers affected by these outages will be notified in advance with advertisements, as well as Project Update reports to allow residents to learn details regarding the project and its progress.
BC Hydro assures that the completed project will be properly screened, fenced, and kept orderly.
“The investment by BC Hydro at the Athalmer Substation increases capacity for future energy demand in the Invermere area, and also assists with the distribution of the power that will be transmitted via the new ‘Columbia Valley Transmission line’ on the west side of the Valley,” said District of Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft.
“It is my understanding that the addition of the transmission line will improve reliability in service north of Invermere.” The project is expected to be complete this year.