FortisBC is planning to expand its natural gas system in the Okanagan Valley (Black Press file photo)

FortisBC plans for upgrade in Okanagan Valley

Upgrade near Penticton would enhance present supply and prepare for future needs

FortisBC has announced an expansion of its natural gas system in the Okanagan Valley.

The Okanagan Capacity Upgrade project was announced on April 15 and expands the energy supplier’s system in the region.

According to FortisBC, the project is driven by the increasing demand we will be facing in the region over the next five years.

The project is for 30 kilometres of new gas line that would connect the system along Penticton’s eastern border and extend north towards Chute Lake.

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This will add capacity to meet present and future demands.

FortisBC is now preparing an application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to the British Columbia Utilities Commission.

The application will be filed this yer.

If approved, the upgrade would strengthen the system for roughly 90,000 homes and businesses in the Okanagan. It would also meet growth in regional demand.

Construction could begin as early as 2021, with the upgrade becoming operational by 2023.

“As we navigate the current public health emergency, FortisBC is committed to ongoing opportunities for meaningful engagement with local governments, Indigenous communities, and residents as we progress towards our CPCN application,” a statement from FortisBC reads. “Opportunities for upcoming engagement include two telephone town halls on April 30 and May 6.”

Details about the upcoming telephone town hall meetings are available online at talkingenergy.ca/okanagan, by telephone at 1-888-592-7704 or by email at okanaganupgrade@fortisbc.com.

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