Big plans for Cowichan Lake hydro service

The long-term plans for Cowichan Lake’s BC Hydro service are impressive.
Multi-million substation upgrades are ongoing in Lake Cowichan, with even greater plans in the works for the future.

  • Sep. 19, 2011 4:00 p.m.

BC Hydro representative Adrien Tennent speaks to the town’s elected officials about installing three more hydro poles along South Shore Road

The long-term plans for Cowichan Lake’s BC Hydro service are impressive.

Multi-million substation upgrades are ongoing in Lake Cowichan, with even greater plans in the works for the future.

Currently, the Cowichan Lake area is fed by a single line from Duncan, whereas most communities are serviced by two ends as part of a loop.

“Lake Cowichan is at the end of a radio line, and unfortunately, if we have an outage, it can’t be fed by a loop at the other end,” BC Hydro spokesperson Ted Olynk said.

This includes all of the communities around Cowichan Lake.

Within the next few years, BC Hydro is looking into getting a secondary distribution line that follows the transmission line from Duncan, hooking up with Lake Cowichan’s substation.

This could help maintain some power in the area, should the primary line go down; particularly in the town’s business core.

“It’s the next best thing to having a loop,” he said.

With ongoing growth in the area, such improvements are necessary, he said.

“We have to tend to the growth,” he said.

Current upgrades to the substation, located at the end of Cowichan Road West off of South Shore Road, are all about expanding the capability of the substation.

The Town of Lake Cowichan has stipulated that all new services must be installed underground.

Current BC Hydro plans involve the installation of three more hydro poles along South Shore Road, near the high school.

As such, BC Hydro representatives met with mayor and council, Tuesday, September 6, to request the allowance of above-ground service.

“We’re trying to revitalize our town, and now we’ll have three more poles in a very short span,” councillor Jayne Ingram said, during a Tuesday, September 13, committee meeting, a week after having met with BC Hydro representatives.

“I’m not in favour of three more poles next to each other,” councillor Bob Day said.

Noting the need for improved BC Hydro service, council motioned to have BC Hydro re-think the design.

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