The District of Summerland will be discussing a proposal for a ICIP grant for voltage conversion

Need for higher voltage

The District of Summerland will be discussing changes to the Electric Utility Voltage Conversion on Monday, hoping to move from their legacy voltage level from eight kilovolts to a 25 kilovolts.

Summerland has owned and operated the electrical power distribution system since 1910, as the report states, providing clean renewable electrical energy to all residents regardless of social or economic status and is available for broad public use.

But the need for upgrades is pressing from the current kilovolt level resulting in growth restrictions for local businesses, the 8kV system is stretched to its limits and lower efficiency of the power system. 

The power system also noted as having aging infrastructure with increasing equipment failures that is leading to decreased reliability. Concerns around power failure relating to extreme weather wwe also in the report. 

The proposal is asking for council to support the project in order to submit an application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP)-Rural and Northern Communities Program. The total cost would be $1,843,700 and the council would need to commit to provide $184,370 itself. 

The higher voltage conversion if completed would provide energy efficiency gains, around five per cent, and reduce wholesaler service fees and charges at around 15 per cent.

The committee put forward a phased approach to implementing a system wide voltage conversion, focusing on the main converter and its parts, then moving to the conversion of remaining feeders and Prairie Valley substation upgrade. 

Summerland council will also be discussing other projects to be put forward for grants to the ICIP grant application on Monday.

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