Projects & Studies

Nelson Hydro in the City

Every year Nelson Hydro starts and finishes projects to repair, maintain, and upgrade the reliability of the electrical system for its approximately 11,000 customers in all areas of the utility; generation, transmission, and distribution. Here's what is going on.

Mill Street Substation Upgrade

Mill Street SubstationBuilt in 1958, the Mill St. Substation is one of the major distribution substations in the Nelson Hydro network, serving approximately 5,860 customers. In July 2021 a critical transformer failed and was subsequently deemed uneconomical to repair. This failure moved up the planned upgrade of the substation by one year as the substation was at the end of its life. The majority of the construction work will be completed by contractors.

Nelson Hydro is working with an engineering firm to design the new substation and plan the transition from the old equipment to the new without interrupting power to its customers. The project will be completed over a three-year period from 2022 to 2024. The project budget is still being finalized through the tendering process and is estimated to be $4.5 million. 

Geographic Information System Implementation

ArcGIS Utility Network by ESRIThe Geographic Information System (GIS) Implementation Project for Nelson Hydro runs from January 2023 to December 2025 and will convert hundreds of AutoCAD layers and diagrams into smart maps, or GIS, for the electric utility to simplify the design, administration, and maintenance of asset information like electric poles, transformers, and hundreds of kilometres of power lines. By the end of the three years, GIS will be used for both office and field staff as part of their day-to-day operations.

This is a big project for a small utility and staff have been busy learning about GIS and converting asset data into this new smart format. GIS is used in electric utilities to provide information on equipment as well as analytics for tracing the flow of electricity within the electric system. Nelson Hydro is implementing the ESRI Inc., ArcGIS for Utility Networks.

Electrification Study

Electrification is the process of replacing vehicles, heaters, and other equipment or appliances that use fossil fuels with those that use electricity as a source of energy. Electrification is being encouraged through rebates by the BC Government, the Government of Canada, Columbia Basin Trust, and FortisBC to reduce Green House Gas Emissions, reach climate targets, and decarbonize the environment to minimize the impacts of climate change. Nelson Hydro customers can receive rebates for many types of fossil fuel conversions as well as electric vehicle charging stations for their homes.

Nelson Hydro would like to understand our customer's electrification plans so we can evaluate our generation and infrastructure options, as well as improve our power purchase forecasts with FortisBC. We need your input.

Qualifying participants will be entered into a draw to win a $100 credit on their next electric bill after June 30th. Click on the image below to complete the questionnaire before June 30th 2023.  

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