Peachland making new push for second BC Hydro link for Westside

Pushing for new power line

A backup power supply for Peachland and West Kelowna has moved up the priority list again after another outage.

Peachland council on Tuesday made a list of which provincial cabinet ministers it most wants to lobby at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, Sept 16-20 in Vancouver.

At the suggestion of Coun. Terry Condon, speaking to the minister who can promise a second power line to the area was moved up the list. That would be Josie Osbourne, minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation.

Currently, West Kelowna, Peachland and Summerland are supplied by one power line coming from Merritt. On May 16, more than 2,700 properties lost power. A bird was blamed.

“This is ridiculous, we get a power outage and our businesses are shut down. It’s a pretty major impact on our community,” said administrator Joe Creron.

BC Hydro, however, says a new transmission line would not prevent power outages like last week's. The outage impacted a local distribution line in the region and power continued to flow elsewhere on the Westside.

Council also wants to push the province to help it get the long-awaited New Monaco housing project going. Lack of access to provincial highways has held up the project.

A second power line has been talked about for years. Last year, councillors were told a deal appeared close that would bring power from the FortisBC system across the lake to the BC Hydro system on the Westside.

Council also wants to talk to Municipal Affairs Minister Anne Kang, Jobs Minister Brenda Bailey, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readinesss Bowinn Ma, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship Nathan Cullen about the watershed issues and invasive mussels, Minister of Children and Family Development Grace Lore about getting a child-care facility in Peachland, and Finance Minister Katrine Conroy.

*this story has been updated to include comments from BC Hydro

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