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Benvoulin substation gets approval

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Kelowna based FortisBC has been given approval to construct it's new Benvoulin Substation on Casorso Road.

The BC Utilities Commission gave the green light to the $17.7 million project Wednesday.

The substation will be built in an old gravel pit site north of the Kelowna and District Fish & Game Club Rifle Range.

According to FortisBC spokesperson, Jodie Foster-Sexsmith, the new facility is required to meet the increased power needs of the growing population in south central Kelowna.

"This is a substation that will service mainly the south central Kelowna area, but will also provide back-up to a number of our other substations also through the Kelowna area," says Foster-Sexsmith.

"It will be connecting into our existing system, so from the substation we'll have a connection to some of our transmission lines and then some of the existing distribution lines as well."

Foster-Sexsmith says the land is in the ALR, meaning Fortis must still receive approval from the Agricultural Land Commission.

She says the City of Kelowna must also approve an application to have the property re-zoned for utilities use.

FortisBC hopes construction can be concluded by the end of 2010.

Meantime, a second new substation proposed for Lochrem Road across from the Kelowna International Airport remains in the hands of the BC Utilities Commission.

"They had asked us to re-consider part of the project on a limited basis, specifically to do with whether there would be impact on the airport from the substation."

A City of Kelowna public hearing on that application remains open, pending further information.

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