BC Hydro workers Lenard Bandelin and Dennis Mitchell build high voltage terminations near the Scout Island Nature Centre Thursday. The area got a hydro makeover this week with all new underground power to prevent birds from hitting power lines.

BC Hydro workers Lenard Bandelin and Dennis Mitchell build high voltage terminations near the Scout Island Nature Centre Thursday. The area got a hydro makeover this week with all new underground power to prevent birds from hitting power lines.

Scout Island receives hydro makeover

BC Hydro crews were busy Thursday putting the finishing touches on an ambitious improvement project at Scout Island.

Angie Mindus

Staff Writer

BC Hydro crews were busy Thursday putting the finishing touches on an ambitious improvement project at Scout Island aimed at saving birds and increasing power reliability.

“This project has been in the works for a while now and we’re excited to see it through to completion,” said BC Hydro design technician work leader Andrew Hasselaar.

Hasselaar said the reason for the project is three-fold; beautification, elimination of bird mortality due to the overhead power lines and increased power reliability.

“We’re looking for a system that runs itself and has little impact to the environment. That’s our goal.”

The new system will see four poles and overhead power lines replaced with 1,800 linear metres of underground duct.

Swans, osprey and geese were just few of the birds impacted by the previous overhead lines, he said.

Hasselaar said the project involved co-ordination between the City of Williams Lake, BC Hydro and Scout Island Nature Centre.

The area in front of the nature centre and along the causeway has been seeded now that the project is complete, and the public is asked to keep out of those areas.

This is the second hydro project Scout Island has seen in recent years.

In 2011 BC Hydro installed an osprey platform with great success.

The platform provides a safe nesting site on top of a bare pole, to detract the birds from nesting on surrounding power poles with energized lines.

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