Projects & Studies

Nelson Hydro in the City

Every year Nelson Hydro starts and finishes hundreds of projects to repair, maintain, and upgrade the reliability of the electrical system for its approximately 11,000 customers in all areas of the utility; generation, transmission, and distribution. Here's a bit about what is going on...

Mill Street Substation Upgrade

Mill Street SubstationBuilt in 1958, the Mill St. Substation is one of the major distribution substations in the Nelson Hydro network, serving approximately 5,860 customers. In July 2021 a critical transformer failed and was subsequently deemed uneconomical to repair. This failure moved up the planned upgrade of the substation by one year as the substation was at the end of its life. The majority of the construction work will be completed by contractors.

Nelson Hydro is working with an engineering firm to design the new substation and plan the transition from the old equipment to the new without interrupting power to its customers. The project will be completed over a three-year period from 2022 to 2024. The project budget is $8.3 million with construction starting in September 2023.

Geographic Information System Implementation

ArcGIS Utility Network by ESRIThe Geographic Information System (GIS) Implementation Project for Nelson Hydro runs from January 2023 to December 2025 and will convert hundreds of AutoCAD layers and diagrams into smart maps, or GIS, for the electric utility to simplify the design, administration, and maintenance of asset information like electric poles, transformers, and hundreds of kilometres of power lines. By the end of the three years, GIS will be used for both office and field staff as part of their day-to-day operations.

This is a big project for a small utility and staff have been busy learning about GIS and converting asset data into this new smart format. GIS is used in electric utilities to provide information on equipment as well as analytics for tracing the flow of electricity within the electric system. Nelson Hydro is implementing the ESRI Inc., ArcGIS for Utility Networks.

Generating Station Battery Replacement

DC Battery Bank

The current battery bank and charging station at the Bonnington Falls Generating Station have reached their end of life at more than 20 years old. These batteries supply power to critical safety equipment (relays, switches, protective devices, fire alarms, etc.) so the generating station can be operated safely during a power outage.

The new batteries are safer and can withstand seismic activity. Twenty new battery cells have been ordered and delivered, are installed in their new locations within the generating station, and will be fully operational by the end of 2023.