Fortis lays out timeline, more details for Revelstoke natural gas conversion

Fortis hopes to have Revelstoke converted to natural gas by 2017, the manager in charge of the project told council on Tuesday.

FortisBC hopes to have Revelstoke converted to natural gas from propane by 2017, the manager in charge of the project told council on Tuesday.

“We determined there are no significant barriers to converting the existing system from propane to gas,” said Joe English, the project manager for FortisBC. “If everything went according to plan, you’d be looking at the summer of 2017,”

A delegation from FortisBC appeared before council on Tuesday, Oct. 14, to explain how the conversion project would work. Currently Revelstoke is on a propane energy system; with the price of propane rising and the price of natural gas decreasing in recent years, Revelstoke customers are paying more than elsewhere in the province.

“There is a net economic benefit to Revelstoke customers to do the switch,” said English.

Revelstoke does not have a natural gas pipeline running through town and propane is trucked here. Natural gas would be brought here using similar methods — it would be trucked in as a liquid from the Fortis facility in Delta, B.C., and re-gassified and distributed to homes throughout Revelstoke once here.

The project would involve building the infrastructure to store LNG and re-gassify it. FortisBC would also retrofit all appliances to gas from propane, said English.

Before the work can happen, Fortis must go to the BC Utilities Commission to get approval for the project and any rate changes that follow. The cost of converting Revelstoke to natural gas would be spread across the entire network, said English, but that would depend on BCUC approval.

He said Fortis plans on making a formal submission to BCUC in early 2015. It is expected to take two years for regulatory approval and project planning.

An open house is being held at the community centre on Tuesday, Oct. 29, from 2-8 p.m. in order for people to give feedback on the plans.