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Electricity improvements coming to Morris Valley Road: B.C. Hydro

The long-discussed project is now under way
This project map released in July is an early rendering of a project to link Morris Valley Road to the Kent substation in order to create a more reliable power supply for the area. (Graphic/B.C. Hydro)

It’s official – electricity along Morris Valley Road is about to get more reliable.

B.C. Hydro announced they are moving forward with plans to improve power reliability for those living along Morris Valley Road in Harrison Mills with new underground and underwater lines to provide a secondary source of power.

Upon completion, the Morris Valley Distribution Reinforcement Project will connect the Harrison Mills community to the Kent substation via 2.7 kilometres of underground and underwater lines crossing the Harrison River. The current plans would also expand the Kent substation itself, upgrade current lines, and replace power poles between the Kent substation and the Harrison River.

“We are committed to delivering safe, clean and reliable electricity to our customers in Morris Valley,” B.C. Hydro president and CEO Chris O’Riley wrote in a statement.

RELATED: Power outages causing problems for Morris Valley Road residents

The community is currently supplied through the Mission substation. However, Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon stated those who live along Morris Valley Road experience more frequent power outages than the surrounding communities, highlighting last winter’s significant weather that caused critical service issues for area residents.

“I’m grateful for BC Hydro’s efforts in the past to help prevent tree-related power outages and am pleased they are moving forward with this new option to improve service reliability,” Paddon wrote in a recent statement.

Morris Valley Road residents have been dealing with frequent power outages for several years. A group of five residents – Doug Wright, Diane Rodrigue, Roger Mawdsley, Brenda Wright and Doug Stewart – brought the issue to B.C. Hydro’s attention in 2018. Doug Wright requested data about power outages dating back to Feb. 2016 onward. According to the released data, between Fem. 2016 to December 2016 there were 15 outages, averaging 3.4 hours without power. In 2017, there were 16 outages, averaging six hours each Roughly half of the outages were caused by fallen trees, and another 20 per cent were caused by car crashes.

RELATED: Renewed hope for reliable power on Morris Valley Road

When B.C. Hydro met with the group of residents, there were a number of short-term solutions proposed, including maintaining trees. B.C. Hydro continues to manage vegetation and trees in the area to help thwart potential tree-related power outages. However, the long-term solution would be an alternate power supply to add reinforcement to the current infrastructure.

B.C. Hydro will be applying for permits this summer with the earliest construction expected to begin next summer, completing as early as spring 2024.

With files from Grace Kennedy


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