Northwest Transmission Line

The Northwest Transmission Line was completed in the summer of 2014 and has created enormous potential for mining and clean energy development.

About This Project

The Northwest Transmission Line (NTL) is an approximately 344 km, 287 kV transmission line between Skeena Substation (near Terrace) and a new substation under construction near Bob Quinn Lake. This new line will provide a reliable supply of clean power to planned industrial developments in the area; provide a secure interconnection point for clean generation projects; and facilitate certain northwest communities in interconnecting to the grid,  rather than obtaining their power from diesel generators.

By providing clean power to industry and communities, the Northwest Transmission Line will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Northwest BC. 

The contract for designing, procuring, and constructing the transmission line part of the project was awarded to the team of Valard Construction and Burns & MacDonnell.  The contract to construct Bob Quinn Substation and upgrade Skeena Substation was awarded to F & M Installations. Right-of-way clearing and access road construction is taking place under contracts with Nisga’a Nation and Kitsumkalum, Kitselas, Gitanyow, Tahltan and Skii km Lax Ha First Nations. Clearing work began in January 2012 and structure installation began at the northernmost end of the line in fall 2012. The NTL is scheduled to go into service in Spring 2014.funded $130 million of the total project cost through the Green Infrastructure Fund, and AltaGas is contributing $180 million. The NTL project promotes electricity self‐sufficiency, job creation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

This project leverages billions of dollars in investment in the region. It is the catalyst for many projects including a $700 million AltaGas's clean energy project that will lead to the creation of 400 jobs. The Northwest Transmission Line itself  is estimated to create up to 840 direct jobs during the three years of construction. And a  recent study undertaken by the Northwest Labour Market Partnership Program showed that the regional industrial development facilitated by the NTL will create at least 4,000 direct and indirect jobs and could create as many as 12,000 direct and indirect jobs in the next 10 years.

This project is one of the largest that B.C. Hydro has undertaken in over sixty plus years. Strong efforts to consult and work collaboratively with First Nations and non-First Nations communities to ensure that the economic advantage is equal for everyone have been made.  Quality trades and technical training have also been prioritized to support the growing need of a highly skilled labour force.

In 2007, over $176 million was spent on exploration in BC's Northwest area ‐ there are over eight major projects in the region that could result in the province’s next major metal or coal mine. Lack of electrical power is currently holding back this potential development.  The Northern Transmission Line is a sign of positive economic opportunity for the region.

More Information Online

For more information on this project, visit:

« return to map