A major milestone has been reached for redevelopment of the John Hart generating station with operator BC Hydro signing a contract with InPower BC to begin construction works.

The deal for the Station Replacement Project includes the construction of an innovative, underground powerhouse that will enhance public safety and improve the site’s environmental footprint.

InPower BC is a special purpose project company owned 100% by SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. The company will run the project out of its Vancouver office, including working and coordinating with international team members on the specialised design and fabrication of components like generators and turbines.

John Hart is a 67-year-old generating station that has seismic, reliability and fish habitat risks. The replacement facility will be constructed over the next five years and BC Hydro will continue to operate the existing generating station during the construction phase.

The estimated cost of the project is just over $1 billion and will include: construction of a replacement water intake at the John Hart spillway dam; replacement of three 1.8km long penstocks with a 2.1km long tunnel; and construction of a new generating station and water bypass facility upstream of the existing station. The new generating station will be underground and further up the site – not directly beside the river. The project will see its capacity increase from 121MW to 132.2MW.

Photo: The John Hart generating station