Nelson Hydro Electric Utility
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 connects to the FortisBC system at Coffee Creek, the Nelson Hydro Power Plant at Bonnington and at the Granite Substation in the Rosemont area in the City of Nelson. 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.
Crews from Penticton, Summerland and Nelson work to restore power after a significant wind storm in the Nelson area on January 13, 2021.
Includes Power Purchase and Generation – activities associated with the procurement and production of the electricity commodity.
Approximately 45% of our annual energy requirements are obtained via power purchase. The supplier has historically been West Kootenay Power, now FortisBC under the current traditional regulatory environment. Power purchase represents approximately 30% of our annual operating costs.
City of Nelson Hydro and Solar Generating Stations on the south side of the Kootenay River
Transmission & Substations
Nelson Hydro owns and operates about 20 km of 63 kV transmission line that links the Powerplant and our supply points from FortisBC to our substation facilities in the City. Nelson Hydro also manages seven substation facilities – five within the City, one on the North Shore and one at the Powerplant. The facilities serve to convert transmission supply at 63 kV to distribution supply, primarily at 25 kV. Expenditures in these areas include cross arm and insulator replacement and outage response for the transmission lines and building, structure, switchgear and transformer maintenance in the substations.
The most extensive portion of the Nelson Hydro system involves delivery of the electricity commodity to individual customers. This includes the medium (between 750 and 63,000 volts) and low (less than 750 volts) voltage facilities of Nelson Hydro, including transformation. Expenditures in this area include crossarm, insulator and conductor replacement, primary and secondary connector renewal, transformer maintenance, vegetation management and outage response.