CLARIFICATION – An earlier version of this article suggested B.C. Hydro was spending two billion dollars per year on upgrades at the Bennett Dam. The article has now been updated to read that two billion dollars will be spent each year by B.C. Hydro to maintain all power infrastructure in the Province of B.C.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The W.A.C. Bennett Dam will be seeing a number of upgrades through 2018.
The upgrade is part of $2 billion per year, for the next decade, that B.C. Hydro will spend upgrading power infrastructure in B.C. The Bennett Dam which is located west of Hudson’s Hope and G.M. powerhouse at the dam along with the Peace Canyon Dam and Generation Station frequently produce 33 percent of the province’s electricity.
The Bennett Dam has already seen its core casings replaced as the previous set was from the 1990’s.
The 50 fifty-year-old Dam will see two more upgrades including the electromechanical systems of the spillway gates to increase the overall reliability as part of the Spillway Gate Reliability Upgrade. Each of the three gates controls the discharge of water from the Williston Reservoir.
It will also be given a Rip-Rap Upgrade as a result of constant deteriorating of the protective upstream sandstone rip-rap and underlying gravel fill from waves, ice loading and freeze-thawing. The Rip-Rap is made up of boulder-sized rocks and protects the upstream slope embankment from erosion. The rocks are coming from the Sand Flat (Quarry development) where mining of dolostone (more durable than sandstone) has been taking place since 2016. Completion of both projects is expected by late 2018.