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Voltage conversion

Distribution Voltage Regulator

What is voltage conversion?

As more homes, businesses, and developments connect or add new equipment to our electrical grid, we need to make sure we can provide electricity to everyone safely and reliably, and plan for future demand on the grid in your area.

One way we're preparing our grid is with voltage conversion, which is the process of converting parts of our distribution system – substations, wires and electrical equipment – to a higher voltage.

We need our entire distribution system to be supplied at 25 kilovolts (kV), and while most of it is, there are areas that currently are only supplied at 12 kV or 4 kV. By converting that equipment to a higher voltage, we can meet future demand on the grid without adding extra power lines and equipment.

Benefits of voltage conversion

By increasing the capacity of our system, we can serve more customers safely, reliably and efficiently. This also means we can more easily meet the province's growing electricity needs as British Columbians switch from fossil fuels to hydroelectricity to power their homes, businesses and vehicles.

For our customers, the benefits of voltage conversion include:

  • Access to better power quality and reliability thanks to the replacement of older infrastructure.
  • Planned and unplanned outages can be resolved faster.
  • Financial savings, as it's more cost-effective to increase voltage rather than adding more power lines and equipment.
  • Less visible BC Hydro equipment is needed in public areas.
  • Opportunities for larger buildings to connect to our system, as 25 kV voltage allows us to provide transformers up to 1500 kVA.

For voltage conversion to happen, an outage will be required

To ensure our crews can complete the voltage conversion safely, we need to take an outage. If this is the case, we'll provide you with advanced notice through the mail or auto-dialer of the date, time and approximate length of the planned outage.

We'll contact you if your equipment needs upgrading

A small number of customers with their own primary voltage equipment (4 kV, 12 kV or 25 kV) will have to upgrade their existing electrical equipment to be able to accept the higher voltage.

We'll contact you directly by phone and/or email if your electrical equipment may not be able to support the new voltage. We'll then arrange to visit your site, at no cost to you, to look at your electrical service and equipment and help decide the most economical and practical option to prepare for the conversion.

Learn about the four upgrade options

How we prioritize regions

We're completing voltage conversion across the province, and it will take years to complete. We prioritize areas based on:

Have questions?

If you have questions about voltage conversion, fill out the below form and our team will get back to you.

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