West Kelowna mayor renews call for backup power source as wildfire threatens only line

5 days ago 2
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Sixty-thousand radical successful West Kelowna and Peachland, B.C., trust connected a azygous root of powerfulness — and that transmission enactment is being threatened by a wildfire, again.

The Brenda Creek wildfire, discovered connected July 18, is 450 hectares successful size and is burning southbound of the Okanagan Connector, close successful the way of BC Hydro’s electrical lines.

Gord Milsom, the politician of West Kelowna, is renewing calls for the powerfulness inferior to fast-track its support of a backup, secondary transmission line, stating that a wide powerfulness outage would origin “chaos” successful the community.

“West Kelowna council, we person been advocating since 2007 for powerfulness redundancy, a 2nd root of power, and I cognize that BC Hydro has done a batch of studies and consultations since 2007, and I recognize it’s wrong their superior plan, but the delays person been excessively numerous, and it has conscionable taken truthful long, truthful it’s clip to get connected with it,” Milsom told Global News connected Sunday.

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Milsom said consequences of a powerfulness outage owed to a wildfire see the nonaccomplishment of aerial conditioning during a vigor wave, constituent of income systems down for businesses reliant connected tourism and the nonaccomplishment of postulation lights erstwhile backup generators are expired.

“Could you ideate if determination were nary lights connected Highway 97?” helium said.

BC Hydro said its crews are feverishly moving with the BC Wildfire Service and section occurrence departments to support the integrity of the powerfulness line. No large harm has been identified to date.

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“Through this fire, it has threatened the transmission enactment rather regularly. It’s burned past the transmission enactment connected astatine slightest 2 occasions and it’s been burning successful that country for a fig of days,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Dag Sharman.

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He said that the electrical inferior understands the concerns of the assemblage and the West Kelowna transmission task is simply a apical priority.

“That task is good underway. The task is simply a precedence for BC Hydro. It is successful our superior program and it remains ongoing, the enactment to beforehand it,” Sharman said.

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“We afloat recognize the assemblage wanting the task to determination faster than it does, but transmission projects are challenging and they instrumentality time.”

BC Hydro said it looked astatine gathering a caller transmission enactment from the Westbank substation to the Nicola substation, but costs person accrued since the alternate was identified successful 2016.

Now it’s assessing a task that would link the Westbank substation to the FortisBC system. A determination connected the champion enactment is expected this year.

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West Kelowna and Peachland’s lone root of powerfulness was besides threatened successful 2014 owed to the Smith Creek wildfire.

Milsom fears it whitethorn beryllium excessively precocious by the clip a 2nd transmission enactment is established.

“I americium acrophobic astir the wellness and information of our residents,” helium said.

“We’ve got to hole for the worst, and I promote our residents to prepare, successful lawsuit determination is an extended outage.”

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