Waneta Expansion Project Injects $200 Million Into Local Economy

CASTLEGAR, B.C. – The Waneta Expansion Limited Partnership (WELP), a partnership between Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Trust, is pleased to announce the Waneta Expansion Project has spent $200 million locally on goods and services.

The Waneta Expansion Project, located immediately downstream of the existing Waneta Dam, is one of the largest hydro projects currently under construction in the Province. The project has an independent contractor monitoring the social and economic impacts in the local area.

“The Waneta Expansion project is not only benefitting our province by providing clean, reliable power, but it’s also helping local businesses thrive,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy, Mines and Responsible for Core Review. “This is a perfect example of a project that is committed to a high standard of quality, safety and environmental protection, while delivering positive benefits to the local community.”

“British Columbia is an attractive place to invest,” said John Walker, Executive Vice President, Western Canadian Operations, Fortis Inc. “Our 51 per cent investment in this $900 million project is an example of how government and the private sector can work together to provide energy for British Columbians.”

Additionally, the project has provided more than $40 million in wages to workers living within 100 kilometres of the project and has a local hire rate of 75 per cent, with preference given to local, qualified workers. Currently 54 apprentices are working at the construction site, creating valuable skills development in the region.

“The injection of $200 million into the local economy is a significant milestone for this $900 million project,” said Frank Wszelaki, President and CEO for Columbia Power. “We are pleased to be delivering on our commitment to provide benefits for local communities.”

“These impressive facts show the value of this project during the construction stage,” said Neil Muth, Columbia Basin Trust President and CEO. “Not only will we one day receive solid revenues that will help the Trust support the efforts of Columbia Basin residents, but this investment currently and directly affects local well-being—long before the first turbine turns.”

Construction activities are currently focused on tailrace blasting, assembly of the turbines, and electrical and mechanical work in the powerhouse.

The project’s independent socio-economic monitoring reports are prepared quarterly and annually and posted to Columbia Power’s website at columbiapower.org/SEM.

The Waneta Expansion Limited Partnership (WELP) is a partnership between Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation, and Columbia Basin Trust. Columbia Power manages construction of the project on behalf of WELP. For more information please visit columbiapower.org/wanetaexpansion.

For further information, please contact:

Audrey Repin
Waneta Expansion Project Spokesperson
Columbia Power Corporation
Tel: 250.304.6044
Cell: 250.365.9502

Back to Top