BC Hydro is building a $30 million substation in Buckley Bay to share the load with three other similar facilities, one in Qualicum Beach.
And despite the suggestions of at least one resident, the construction seemingly has nothing to do with any potential coal mine in the region.
BC Hydro spokesperson Karla Louwers said last week the new substation, not expected to be completed until the fall of 2014, will “increase the reliability in the region and minimize outages.”
Louwers said the new facility will help offset heavy electricity loads on other substations in Qualicum Beach, Courtenay and Comox.
“There’s been a growing demand for electricity in the Comox Valley area for some time,” she said. “The new substation will help relieve the electricity-supply constraints in the area by off-loading the electricity loads of nearby substations.”
The NEWS was made aware of the project by a caller who suggested the construction of the substation had something to do with the proposed Raven coal mine project near Buckley Bay.
BC Hydro’s Louwers had no information to relay regarding the need for the substation for any kind of industry.
John Snyder of Coal Watch said he didn’t believe the construction of the substation has anything to do with a coal mine. An initial application for the Raven Coal Mine project near Buckley Bay was rejected by the provincial Environmental Assessment Office in May.
“I haven’t heard anything from the proponent, which is not unusual,” said Snyder from his Fanny Bay home. “We are just waiting for the application to be re-submitted. We have our technical experts ready to go if they re-submit.”
While Snyder wouldn’t agree with the notion the Raven project is dead, he re-iterated his stance that it has no support in the Mid-Island region.