About Us

About Nelson Hydro

Nelson Hydro is a City of Nelson-owned and operated utility and is the local supply authority for electrical service in the City of Nelson and the surrounding area. The Nelson Hydro service area covers from the Nelson Hydro Power Plant on Kootenay River to the west, Blewett, Taghum, Sproule and Grohman Creek, the City of Nelson, Highway 6 south towards Salmo to Perrier Road and beyond, north and east along Kootenay Lake to Harrop - Procter, Balfour, Queens Bay and terminating at Coffee Creek north of Queens Bay along Kootenay Lake. Nelson Hydro is very unique in that it is one of the few Municipally owned and operated utilities to have its own generation, transmission and distribution systems. Nelson Hydro Service Area Opens in new window

 Click the map above for a more detailed view of our Service Territory.


Nelson Hydro owns and operates a 16 MW hydroelectric generation facility located at Bonnington Falls on the Kootenay River 16 km southwest of Nelson. The current water license allows a year-round output of 9.1 MW, which represents about 55% of our annual energy requirements. The powerplant serves an important function in that it tempers the rate impacts that FortisBC increases would otherwise have on our customers. Nelson Hydro also owns and operates a community solar array that generates on average 65,800 kWh annually for subscribed customers. Visit Solar Generation for more information.

Transmission & Substations

Nelson Hydro owns and operates about 24 km of 63 kV transmission line that links the Generating Station and our supply points from FortisBC to our substation facilities. Nelson Hydro manages seven substation facilities; five within the City, one on the North Shore and one at the Generating Station. The facilities serve to convert transmission supply at 63 kV to distribution supply, primarily at 25 kV.

 Nelson Hydro Substation


The most extensive portion of the Nelson Hydro system involves the delivery of electricity to individual customers. Nelson Hydro owns and operates about 300 km of distribution lines that link from the Transmission network to our customer's doors. This includes medium distribution (between 750 and 63,000 volts) and low distribution (less than 750 volts) voltage facilities of Nelson Hydro.

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