BC Hydro says plan for underground substations leaves scarce land for other uses

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VANCOUVER - BC Hydro says it is looking underground as it considers future electricity demand in downtown Vancouver.

The utility says in a news release that it will upgrade electrical infrastructure by proposing to build two new substations underground, leaving the space above available for developments such as schools.

The substations would be located in the West End and Yaletown, supplying power for what is anticipated to be a 75 per cent growth in demand across the downtown region over the next 30 years.

Hydro says the concept has been shared with the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver School Board and the Vancouver Park Board for their consideration.

The utility says it will also hold open houses, roundtable discussions and an online feedback forum from Friday to Feb. 28.

BC Hydro president Jessica Mcdonald says building for the future in a city where land is scarce and expensive challenged BC Hydro to find a new approach.

"By literally planting our substations underground, the available budgets and the land above can be used to grow community benefits, whether that is a school, a park or a playing field," she says.

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