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City substation handed back to the city after decades of hydro use

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
November 13th, 2018

After 80 years in the hands of Nelson Hydro the building in front of the city’s school of the arts is returning to its rightful owner.

Hydro officially handed over the key to the Victoria and Josephine streets substation to the city after announcing it has completed its upgrade project.

As part of the infrastructure strategic goals adopted by the City of Nelson, Nelson Hydro embarked upon an upgrade of its substations, transmission lines and a voltage conversion in Nelson.

Since 2010 Nelson Hydro has spent $10.3 million on a long series of upgrades, including the voltage conversion, power line upgrades and substation projects.

“This has enabled us to retire that substation, as well as a whole, bunch of other equipment,” said Hydro manager Alex Love in his report, to city council. “The shutdown of this station is the end marker of this series of power system upgrades,” and the long-term infrastructure plan.

The projects brought the utility to the point where the city substation could be de-commissioned and it was taken out of service in the fall of 2017, Love explained.

The station was assessed for oil contamination (there was none) and lead paint, which has been encapsulated. The station is now ready to be used for a new purpose, Love said.

The city substation is a “well performing” asset for the city, said Love, and much of the equipment that was in the station provided 80 years of service life.

The substation is located adjacent to Selkirk College’s Kootenay School of the Arts, the college being part of the substation that was re-purposed many years ago.

“Right now we have other plans for that part of the building,” said Mayor Deb Kozak last week.

Love noted that over the course of the infrastructure plan — the last nine years — there have been several councils supporting the Hydro budgets in order to proceed in pulling off the upgrade.

“A special call out to Mike Amos and Carl Olsen who did a lot of concept work to come up with the best overall plan,” Love said in his report to council. “Dan Geissler, Darrel Manchur, Mike Amos, Doug Pickard and Terry Andreychuk managed the various projects that brought us along the path to completion.”

Categories: General


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