The two new outlet valves were tested last week and will provide BC Hydro with increased downstream water flow management, such as the annual fish habitat flows down Elk Falls Canyon. They are shown flowing at full capacity or a combined 44 cubic metres per second.

The two new outlet valves were tested last week and will provide BC Hydro with increased downstream water flow management, such as the annual fish habitat flows down Elk Falls Canyon. They are shown flowing at full capacity or a combined 44 cubic metres per second.

Water flows through the John Hart tunnels

BC Hydro generating station project near Campbell River enters new milestone

  • Apr. 30, 2018 1:30 p.m.

Water is now flowing through the underground tunnels at the new John Hart hydroelectric facility.

And there are a lot of satisfied smiles around the project site.

“This is a big achievement for the project team and work crews, and ultimately, this is five years in the making when BC Hydro staff and InPower BC staff worked out the Project Agreement in developing this amazing project,” BC Hydro’s Stephen Watson siad in a press release. “Our contractor managed through the underground rock removal process, then the underwater rock blasting while also successfully protecting water quality within the John Hart reservoir, and now they’ve successfully moved through the watering up process within the 2.2 km of tunnels.

“We could not be happier. It’s a massive project for BC Hydro, and for the Campbell River community and Vancouver Island. The project continues to track on time and on budget.”

Watson said some initial cloudiness in the water coming out of the tunnel was expected with it fully passing through all of the tunnel sections for the first time, and that the water quality was monitored and stayed well within water quality compliance for downstream fish habitat.

“The water is now flowing through tunnels but also the new water release valves on the downstream side of the John Hart dam,” said Watson. “One of the valves is designed to provide the year-round flows for fish habitat down Elk Falls Canyon. This is the first commissioning of the project works with the valves and the new water bypass facility, located within the underground powerhouse, being turned over to BC Hydro for downstream water management.”

“We have a great team with SNC-Lavalin, Aecon, General Electric and over 100 local suppliers, services, and subcontractors,” said InPower BC CEO, Paul Sawyer. “We are pleased with how things have come together. There is lots of work ahead as we look to have the first turbine/generator producing power for BC Hydro in early summer. We’ll maintain our steady focus through the facility commissioning in the fall – however, it’s nice to take a moment and think about how far we’ve come.”

“I would like to congratulate everyone who’s been involved on the John Hart project since the beginning in reaching this major project milestone,” said Minister of Transportation and North Island MLA, Claire Trevena. “I‘ve closely followed this project for years and have been constantly amazed at the rate of change during the construction phase – the overall scope of the project is immense.”

“This project has been a huge focus for our community and we are very pleased how successfully it has moved along while also considering the community interests,” said City of Campbell River Mayor, Andy Adams. “From the walking trails, helping to make the Elk Falls Suspension Bridge a reality, to working collaboratively with the City on our new domestic water intake system. We’re getting close to the finish line for this project, though there are more large projects planned by BC Hydro to keep the wider Campbell River system safe and reliable.”

Watson said the annual John Hart project community site event, the fourth and likely final event, will be held on September 16 to provide people with the opportunity to go underground and see the powerhouse before it is fully commissioned in October. New for this year is people must acquire a limited amount of tickets in order to go on the tour. BC Hydro and InPower BC expect a lot of interest and this was seen as the best way to logistically have a successful event.

“The details of the community site event will be provided in early June, including where you can get the approximate 1,200 tickets around the end of June. Maybe it will be like a popular music concert and the tickets will be gone in an hour?” said Watson, chuckling.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help them find a 16-year-old who has been missing since Sunday. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: 16-year-old Nanaimo boy located safe

Teen had been reported missing last week and it was thought he may have left town

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to make its operations more efficient as it works on long-term goals around carbon-neutrality. (PQB News file photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo works to become carbon neutral by 2032

RDN committee of the whole members endorse plan developed by consultant

The Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Most Read