The $900 million expansion of the 335 MW Waneta Expansion Limited Partnership (WELP), has been completed. Located near Trail, British Columbia, Canada, the project was executed by a partnership between Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Trust. Voith Hydro supplied two Francis turbines, generators, governors, exciters and various additional auxiliary systems for the project and served as the prime contractor.“In 2010 when I was Energy Minister the first time, there was a vigorous debate within government about whether to allow the Waneta Expansion project to proceed,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines who officially inaugurated the expansion. “I am grateful that, as a Kootenay resident, I had the opportunity at the time to ensure that this tremendous project was allowed to proceed.”
Located immediately downstream of the Waneta Dam on the Pend d’Oreille River, the Waneta Expansion adds a second powerhouse that shares the existing hydraulic head, generating clean, renewable, cost-effective power from water that would otherwise be spilled. The project also included the construction of a 10 km, 230 kV transmission line.
“The grand opening of Waneta is the culmination of many years of hard work to complete one of British Columbia’s largest infrastructure projects,” said William Malus, CEO of Voith Hydro in Canada. “With Waneta’s expansion now operational, customers across British Columbia will see even more benefits from reliable, affordable, and renewable hydropower generation.”
To celebrate WELP’s expansion, an inauguration ceremony took place that included a First Nations welcome and prayers by Chiefs and Elders of Ktunaxa Nation and Okanagan Nation, the unveiling of plaques by Minister and ribbon cutting, a powerhouse tour of the intake, the control room and walkway to service bay.