Representatives from Campbell River City Council and BCHydro John Hart Generating Station staff shut down Generator 3 on Monday morning. Photo by Jocelyn Doll/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River city councillors shut down second turbine at John Hart Generating Station

BC Hydro’s transition to a new generating station is one step closer

On Monday, Mayor Andy Adams and Councillors Charlie Cornfield, Colleen Evans, Ron Kerr and Marlene Wright gathered to ceremonially shut down Generator 3 at the 70-year-old John Hart Generating facility.

“When I first saw the plans to put the new generating station underground, I thought you were crazy,” said Adams. “What imagination to be able to then-remove the penstocks, reclamate that area for the environment, have a generating station that is going to last another 70-100 years, seismically sound, increased clean power.”

Adding that he couldn’t thank BC Hydro enough for their work keeping the community informed as well as ensuring salmon enhancement and protection continues downstream of the ongoing project.

Cornfield echoed Adams’ sentiment.

“This project made a huge difference to Campbell River when we lost our pulp mill,” he said.

Evans, donning her Chamber of Commerce hat, thanked BC Hydro for hiring local workers and contractors, saying the project helped a lot with the transition and industry changes within Campbell River.

Generator 5 was shut down last October. Georgean Price, wife of Art Price-who was the first John Hart plan manager all those years ago, had the honour.

“It has been a lot of years and I remember how excited we were when the first turbine went into action, it was a Sunday I believe, and the whole province was excited,” Price said at the time.

Stephen Watson, spokesperson for BCHydro, said the next generator will be shut down in April and the others will be shut down in October when the new station goes online.

“We are now at an exciting stage,” he said. “We initiated this project in 2007, we started construction in 2014 and this is the year when everything starts running.”

Watson said that the representatives from the city were invited to take part in the process as a thank you for all of the work they have done to make the project happen.

“It is just a relationship that we try to work on on both sides, so we are very proud and pleased to have them come out with our staff that worked so diligently.”