The project will include replacing the existing three 1.8km long penstocks with a 2.1km tunnel through bedrock, constructing a replacement generating station beside the existing station, constructing a replacement water intake at the John Hart Spillway Dam, and building a new water bypass facility.

The project will create about 400 jobs a year over the five years of construction. First Nations, the Campbell River community and the surrounding region will have an opportunity to be directly involved and benefit economically from the project construction.

BC Hydro, in partnership with the Campbell River and District Chamber of Commerce, Vancouver Island Construction Association and Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, has launched a web portal site that provides an online registration forum for businesses and suppliers.

BC Hydro continues consultation with First Nations, stakeholders and the general public on the safety, reliability and potential environmental impacts of the John Hart Generating Project, a process started in 2007. BC Hydro is also negotiating impact benefit agreements with First Nations potentially impacted by the project.

The utility’s goal is to complete the regulatory processes and award the construction contract by summer 2013. BC Hydro is working towards having the first replacement generating unit in-service by 2017. The project is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2018.

Next project steps include filing a federal Environmental Assessment Report with Fisheries and Oceans Canada later this month and filing a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) Application with the British Columbia Utilities Commission later this spring.