Hydro Facility Planned for Nelson's North Shore

nelson hydro

The General Manager of Nelson Hydro expects construction to start on the North Shore Battery Energy Storage System in 2025.

Scott Spencer figures the facility to store power for peak periods and help restore power during outages will benefit ratepayers.

“We do pay demand charges for those peak periods throughout the day, by shaving that off it’s going to save all of our ratepayers money, because we will reduce our cost for purchased power from Fortis B-C,” said Spencer, who added that having a facility in the North Shore will mean getting the lights back on more quickly when power goes out in that area.

“It’s going to put an energy source in an area that’s currently fed from a radial line,” said the Hydro G.M.

“It is difficult to maintain because it is rural and we have a lot of wind affected and tree outages in that area,” he stated.

Spencer also said a provincial grant is necessary because of the high cost of the project and the inflationary factors.

“Because of current supply chain issues there is additional cost that were unanticipated and to make a project like this viable it needs other external support (funding),” he added.

The final price tag is likely to come in higher than the original $10-million estimate.

Hydro officials hope provincial money in addition to the already secured federal grant, will leave about 25% for the local part of the project.

Spencer figures they won’t hear about provincial funding until Sept. 2023, leaving them ample time to work on the design.