Since 1969, BC Hydro has been supplying electricity to customers on Protection Island. Currently
customers are served by a submarine cable from Nanaimo to Newcastle Island and Newcastle Island to
Protection Island. The existing cables serving Protection Island are nearing end of life.
The Protection Island Submarine Cable Replacement Project has been initiated to ensure long-term
reliable supply of power to Protection Island. Upon project completion, Protection Island will be supplied
with electricity from two new submarine cables in McKay Channel, beginning near Maffeo Sutton Park in
Nanaimo and terminating near Pirates Park on Protection Island.
The project will be completed in two phases.
Phase 1: civil construction
Nanaimo: March 31 – April 30, May 7 – 9 and July 3-5
Protection Island: April 6-30, June 3-6 and July 4
This phase includes the installation of ducts (conduits) at the submarine cable landing sites in the intertidal zones through to the upland area at Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo and at Pirates Park on Protection Island. Work in the intertidal zone is scheduled around the lowest tides. Work in Maffeo Sutton Park will require intermittent closures or detours of pedestrian walkways. Signage will be posted in advance and traffic control will be onsite to provide direction. Work in Pirates Park will require intermittent closures of the gravel pathway from the central parking area. Parking will also be limited as equipment and material will be stored in the parking lot.
Phase 2: submarine cable installation
August 9-11 or September 20-23
This phase includes the installation of two new submarine cables in McKay Channel. A barge will be used to complete this work. Mariners travelling in McKay Channel during the work window will be required to keep their distance from the barge and as a result mariners may experience minor delays. As cable installation nears Protection Island, access to dock could be impacted for up to 2 hours.