Image: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot /

The Robson Valley Hydro task force recently confirmed it is working on options for a high voltage power line reaching McBride. The group is comprised of a collection of Robson Valley micro-hydro advocates and one McBride municipal politician.

While citizen members of the task force are bound under non-disclosure agreements, Bob Gammer, a B.C. Hydro community relations representative, says that he can confirm the direction the task force is headed.

The Nov. 26 meeting involved discussing how Robson Valley residents can have the most reliable long-term power solutions.

“Those options all involved upgraded transmission line,” Gammer says.

There has not yet been a decision on any preferred option resulting from the task force, Gammer says. He says many considerations are being taken into account by the task force, including the potential for hydro project developments. Those developments would need a high voltage line even to be economically feasible.

Gammer acknowledges that there is already a backlog of hydro projects proposed in the Robson Valley which would need a high voltage line, such as the 70 megawatt Holmes River project proposed by long-time McBride resident and hydro developer Duke Peterson.

At this point, two options for high voltage transmission lines are being explored. The high voltage line coming from Kamloops and running past TÔªte-Jaune to the “Rearguard Pump Station” on the Trans Mountain Pipeline near Mt. Robson is only about 70 km from McBride.

However, the option of extending a high voltage line to McBride down from Prince George is also on the table. Gammer says that details like current and projected capacity, as well as proposed hydro projects both between TÔªte-Jaune and McBride and McBride and Prince George are all taken into consideration by the task force.

While the task force does not meet on a regular schedule, Gammer says after each meeting, groups agree to pursue further information arrange to meet again once such information is presentable to the task force. There is no firm date yet for its next meeting.