Canadian electric utility BC Hydro has announced its plans to install a sixth turbine at its 2.48GW Revelstoke hydro plant in British Columbia.

The sixth hydropower generating facility, dubbed as Revelstoke 6, is planned to be of 500MW capacity. It will be built on the Revelstoke Dam to cover the growing power needs of the Canadian province.

BC Hydro expects to build it at a cost of $582m. The sixth generation unit is slated to be operational by 2026 or earlier.

BC Hydro deputy CEO and capital infrastructure projects lead Chris O'Riley said: "Not only does Revelstoke Unit 6 ensure that power is there for our customers during the winter season when electricity use in B.C. reaches its peak, it reflects our evolving relationships with area First Nations.

"This is the first time that BC Hydro has partnered with First Nations on the preparation of our application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate."

It was in 2010 that the utility’s fifth turbine had commenced operations at the Revelstoke hydro plant.

As per BC Hydro, there will be a capacity deficit when it undertakes a major maintenance work of the 1970s installed units at its Mica Dam hydro plant.

BC Hydro stated that it would need both the Revelstoke 6 and the upcoming 1.1GW Site C hydro project on the Peace River to be operational to avoid the capacity deficiency.

The electric utility expects to get the Environmental Assessment Certificate for the Revelstoke 6 unit in the fall.

Image: Fifth of five penstocks in place, with room for a sixth penstock visible. Photo: courtesy of BC Hydro.