Lower Nicola band to reap economic benefits from power project

Band buys transmission line

Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corp. will own, operate and maintain the 24-kilometre Kingsvale electricity transmission line that will run through its traditional territory.

The 138-kilovolt line will connect from BC Hydro’s distribution line and provide additional power to Trans Mountain Canada’s existing and new Kingsvale pump stations that are part of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Lower Nicola partnered with Trans Mountain and Valard Construction on the new line, which it says will create economic opportunities in the region.

“This will be the first electricity transmission line to be constructed, majority owned, operated, maintained and financed by an Indigenous group in Canada,” Lower Nicola Development Corp. general manager Kevin Ainsworth said in a press release. “This project will provide valuable economic benefits to the Lower Nicola Indian Band.”

The line is expected to be completed by August, and Lower Nicola Development Corp., along with Valard, has negotiated a 20-year contract with Trans Mountain.

“We are proud to partner with LNIB and Valard on this unique project, which will provide direct and lasting economic opportunities,” Trans Mountain CEO Ian Anderson said. “We are committed to ensuring that Indigenous communities share in the benefits of the expansion project and the partnerships we are creating are based on trust, respect and collaboration.”

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