BC Hydro to begin procurement process for Puntledge River Flow Control Project

BC Hydro to begin procurement process for Puntledge River Flow Control Project
BC Hydro’s Puntledge River hydroelectric system consists of the Comox Lake Reservoir, Comox Dam (pictured above), Puntledge Diversion Dam, 5 km-long woodstave and steel penstock, and 24 megawatt powerhouse. (BC Hydro)

BC Hydro is getting ready to send the $47 million Puntledge River Flow Control Project to the procurement process in fall 2022.

The company says the project has been in the planning stages for years, and it will begin the procurement process and a Request for Proposals in fall 2022, start construction in summer 2024, and complete the project by early 2026.

“There is high recreational use along the Puntledge River with swimming, tubing and sunbathing, and then in the fall and winter there’s a big focus on flood risk management as we deal with large storm events hitting the area,” said BC Hydro spokesperson, Stephen Watson.

“Our facilities need to operate as intended, and that includes minimizing or even preventing the chance of an unplanned flow event from our facilitates to protect public safety and fish habitat, and being able to safely hold back or release water downstream as operationally needed during storm events.”

The Puntledge River Flow Control Project aims to improve operating reliability of the Comox Dam spillway gates, the Puntledge Diversion Dam intake gates that pass water down the penstock to the powerhouse, the fish screens within the penstock, key equipment and large water valves at the powerhouse, and improving the available watershed tools and information.

BC Hydro says water flow changes are not anticipated during the work, but there may be powerhouse and penstock outages in summer 2024 and 2025.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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