Power play

British Columbia Transmission Corp. is constructing a substation to connect Plutonic Power Corporation Inc.'s controversial East Toba and Montrose Creek hydroelectric project to British Columbia's power grid. Three years ago, the price tag for such a substation would have been around $11.1 million. But the cost of this one is expected to be $40.3 million because it will also reinforce the Sunshine Coast's transmission system. It was estimated in 2006 that Plutonic Power Corp. would pickup $2.8 million of the substation's cost - the price tag for hooking up the company's hydroelectric project to that facility. Asked whether this amounts to a subsidy, British Columbia Transmission communications manager Mike Witherly responded, "No. Substations are integral to the operation of B.C.'s publicly owned electrical grid."

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