The Waneta expansion project is on target, with the partners reporting 450,000 man-hours without lost time or major environmental incident.
“This is an important milestone for the project,” spokesperson Audrey Repin said in a news release. “It defines our dedication to a high standard of safety, environmental protection, and quality workmanship and is representative of the work done each and every day on site.”
The project will see the addition of a second powerhouse located immediately downstream from the Waneta Dam and its existing powerhouse. The expansion project will share the existing dam’s hydraulic head and generate power from flow that would otherwise be spilled.
Major construction activities currently underway include excavation of the intake, powerhouse and power tunnels.
The joint investment of Columbia Basin Trust, Fortis Inc. and the Columbia Power Corporation is projected to inject $178 million into the local economy through the purchase of goods and services, and supply 400 jobs and $200 million in wages and benefits.
Currently more than 200 employees are working on the $900-million project, with approximately 82 per cent living within 100 kilometres of the site. A commitment to provide opportunities for women, visible minorities, disabled persons and First Nations is also evident, with the current workforce consisting of 15 per cent equity employees.
The project started last fall and is expected to take another four years to complete.