Interior Transmission System Upgrades
We’re planning work on our natural gas system at a number of locations throughout the interior of British Columbia as part of our Interior Transmission System Upgrades project. Similar to the Coastal Transmission System Upgrades project, this work will further enhance the safety and reliability of the system we use to supply natural gas to more than 195,000 homes and businesses. Much of our work throughout Interior BC will take place at rural locations and will have minimal impact on residents and businesses.
Why we're upgrading these gas lines
Our Interior Transmission System includes more than 700 kilometres of gas lines and facilities that move gas throughout BC’s southern interior to communities in the West Kootenay, Okanagan Valley and South Thompson Valley. These lines have an excellent record for both safety and reliability because of the ongoing maintenance work we conduct.
The work planned as part of the Interior Transmission System Upgrades project will enhance our ability to monitor the condition of our lines by allowing us to use new, advanced inspection tools. We will build on our already robust inspection and maintenance activities, increasing our safety standards so we can continue providing reliable service to customers for decades to come.
We’ll be replacing sections of our gas lines and upgrading facilities to allow us to use new inspection tools in our Interior Transmission System. We expect worksites to range in size from about 2.5 metres to 50 metres long. This work will take place at 16 locations on and near existing FortisBC rights of way and facilities in BC’s interior.
Some work may impact nearby roads and paths. We will work directly with stakeholders, Indigenous groups, and nearby homes and businesses to identify and minimize disruptions.
We filed our regulatory application for this project with the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) in September 2022. If approved, the majority of project construction work will occur in 2025-2026 in preparation for the line inspections that will begin in 2026.
City of Kamloops
- upgrades to our facility off Saskatoon Place
City of Penticton
- upgrades to our facility on Warren Avenue West and Government Street
City of Vernon
- upgrades to our facility along Davidson Road, off Bella Vista Road
Regional District Central Kootenay, Area B
- upgrades to our facility off Highway 95 near Barnhardt Road
Regional District Kootenay Boundary, Area B
- Upgrades to the gas line west of Highway 22, near Riverdale
Regional District Kootenay Boundary Area D
- upgrades to our facility along Como Road
Regional District Okanagan Similkameen, Area H
Gas line work
- replace two small sections of gas line within the existing right of way just off Highway 5A northwest of Allison lake
- replace a valve assembly off Highway 5A southeast of Allison Lake
Regional District of Thompson-Nicola, Area J
Gas line work
- replace gas line across Cherry Creek along the existing FortisBC right of way
- upgrades to our facility along Tunkwa Lake Road
Regional District of Thompson-Nicola, Area N
- upgrades to our facility on Suttie Road, off Coldwater Road
Town of Oliver
- upgrades to our facility on Highway 97, near Gallagher Lake
Town of Princeton
- upgrades to our facility along Highway 5A, near Sunflower Estates Road
Township of Spallumcheen
- upgrades to our two facilities on St. Annes Road
Project timelines and next steps
In September 2022 we filed a project application with our regulator, the BCUC, and are expecting a decision in 2023. If approved, the majority of construction work will take place in 2025-2026 and baseline inspections will start in 2026.
We're in the early planning stages of this project and continuing to engage with local municipalities, Indigenous communities, landowners and local residents. We will continue to provide engagement opportunities throughout the project and can be contacted directly at [email protected].
September 20, 2022
Project application filed
Today marks a major step forward as we file our project application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity with the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC). The Interior Transmission System Upgrades project will update our natural gas system throughout the interior of British Columbia, enhancing existing safety and reliability.
While preparing to submit our application, we’ve been engaging local municipalities, Indigenous communities, landowners, and local residents to share details on the project and obtain feedback.
If approved, project construction work will occur in 2025-2026 in preparation for the line inspections that will begin in 2026.
September 30, 2021
Engagement underway to support project planning
We’ve started engaging with stakeholders, Indigenous groups and those living and working near the project worksites to gather feedback that will help us prepare our application for the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC). We expect to submit our application to the BCUC in 2022. If approved, the construction will occur in 2024-2026 in preparation for line inspections that will take place 2025-2030.
Before construction takes place, we’ll work with communities, Indigenous groups, stakeholders and municipalities to minimize local disruptions.
If you want to know more, ask questions or provide feedback, call us at 1-888-486-0138 or [email protected].
Have you spoken with residents, local government and Indigenous communities about this project?
We began engagement on the Interior Transmission System Upgrades project earlier in 2021 and will continue throughout the duration of the project. We are reaching out to residents, local governments, Indigenous communities and anyone else who holds interest in the areas of the Interior Transmission System Upgrades project.
We're committed to developing mutually beneficial working relationships with all affected residents, municipalities, stakeholders and Indigenous communities in the vicinity of our construction, and addressing any feedback or questions that may arise.
Sep 30, 2021
Are there employment opportunities with this project?
If you are a contractor or vendor interested in providing goods or services to the Interior Transmission System Upgrades project or for other ongoing work, please complete our procurement form.
If you are interested in career opportunities, please visit our careers site.
Sep 30, 2021
How long will this project take?
If approved, project construction work will occur in 2024-2026 in preparation for the line inspections that will take place 2025-2030.
Sep 30, 2021
Why is FortisBC still investing in natural gas instead of exploring cleaner energy solutions?
We see a future where BC’s existing gas and electricity systems are both working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate action targets—delivering renewable and low-carbon energy1 like Renewable Natural Gas2 and hydrogen gas to millions of British Columbians. By injecting these into our distribution system, we can reduce the amount of conventional natural gas needed and progress towards our 2050 vision to replace 75 per cent of the natural gas running through our system with renewable and low carbon gases.
This diversified approach to decarbonized energy will give you the reliable, affordable energy you need for your home or business.
Updated July 20, 2022
1 FortisBC uses the term renewable and low-carbon gas to refer collectively to the low-carbon gases or fuels that the utility can acquire under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Clean Energy) Regulation, which are: Renewable Natural Gas (also called RNG or biomethane), hydrogen, synthesis gas (from wood waste) and lignin. FortisBC’s renewable and low-carbon gas portfolio currently includes only Renewable Natural Gas. Other gases and fuels may be added to the program over time. Depending on their source, all of these gases have differing levels of lifecycle carbon intensity. However, all of these gases are low carbon when compared to the lifecycle carbon intensity of conventional natural gas. The current burner tip emission factor of RNG is 0.29 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule of energy (gCO2e/MJ) and the current renewable and low-carbon gas portfolio lifecycle emissions are -22 gCO2e/MJ. This is below B.C.’s carbon intensity threshold for low-carbon gases of 36.4 gCO2e/MJ set out in the 2021 B.C. Hydrogen Strategy.
2 Renewable Natural Gas (also called RNG or biomethane) is produced in a different manner than conventional natural gas. It is derived from biogas, which is produced from decomposing organic waste from landfills, agricultural waste and wastewater from treatment facilities. The biogas is captured and cleaned to create Renewable Natural Gas.
Sep 30, 2021
Who do we contact if we have questions about the project?
If you have any questions about the project, we’re happy to speak with you. Please call us at 1-888-486-0138 or [email protected].
Sep 30, 2021
How can I stay updated on the project?
We’ll keep this project webpage updated with the latest news as the project progresses. You can also sign up for our Talking Energy newsletter that includes updates on the Interior Transmission System Upgrades project.
Sep 30, 2021
Is FortisBC planning any other work in my area?
We regularly maintain our infrastructure to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of our energy to our customers. This includes upgrading gas and electricity lines – which may require crews to work along roads – as well as managing vegetation near our facilities and rights of way. Learn more about the work planned for your neighbourhood.
We appreciate your patience and co-operation as we try to minimize disruptions and complete the work in your neighbourhood as quickly and safely as possible.
Sep 30, 2021
Will I lose my natural gas service when this work is taking place?
We will work with our contractor to ensure gas service is maintained to all customers throughout construction on this project. If you have questions about our natural gas service, visit the FortisBC website or call 1-888-224-2710 (Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
Sep 30, 2021
Why are you working in the community during a pandemic?
As an essential service, we’re continuing to move projects forward that support the energy needs of our customers while adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. These upgrades are part of this critical work, so we can continue providing the reliable service residents and businesses count on.
Safety is at the heart of everything we do. While working in the community, our crews will continue to take appropriate physical distancing measures to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of area residents.
On the rare occasion physical distancing isn’t possible, our crews will have access to additional personal protective equipment such as respiratory, eye and hand protection, to further reduce the risk of infection.
Sep 30, 2021
What is the purpose of the Interior Transmission System Upgrades project?
The Interior Transmission System Upgrades project will enhance the safety and reliability of the system we use to supply natural gas to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses. The work will enhance our ability to monitor the condition of our gas lines by allowing us to use new, advanced in-line inspection tools. These gas lines have an excellent record for both safety and reliability. The work being planned will build on our already robust inspection and maintenance activities, to make sure these lines continue to provide safe, reliable service for many decades to come.
Sep 30, 2021
We believe serving the community is a privilege. That’s why we’re committed to engaging with Indigenous groups, local communities and other stakeholders as we move forward with planning for the Interior Transmission System Upgrades. We’ll keep you informed every step of the way.
Work is planned for the following communities:
- City of Penticton
- City of Vernon
- Regional District of Central Kootenay
- Regional District of Kootenay Boundary
- Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen
- Regional District of Thompson-Nicola
- Town of Oliver
- Town of Princeton
- Township of Spallumcheen