Local dignitaries, the CEO of BC Hydro and the Minister of Energy and Mines were on hand in Campbell River to kick off the construction that has already started at the John Hart Generating Station Replacement project, Friday.
Minister Bill Bennett says there are many benefits of the $1.1 billion project.
BC Hydro President and CEO Jessica McDonald explains that $1.1 billion cost is part of their capital plan.
Meanwhile, Bennett says they are facing the challenge of investing to upgrade infrastructure while keeping hydro rates down.
Bennett says those dividends to government are usually in the hundreds of millions of dollars range, and the government taking less of that money will leave $3 billion more with BC Hydro.
Construction work such as tunneling to build the new penstocks has already started and work is going to continue up until the expected completion date in 2019.