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Ruskin Powerhouse Improvement

A precise balance of upgrading and keeping current operations flowing

  • 58

    Metre Concrete Dam

  • 105

    Mw

  • 1930

    Original Plant

  • Mission, British Columbia

    Mission, British Columbia

Providing surrounding communities with clean, reliable energy for years to come

After almost 80 years, The Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse, located on the Stave River just 45 miles east of Vancouver, was in serious need of an upgrade. Our team was retained by BC Hydro to lead the rehabilitation efforts to provide clean and reliable supply of electricity to communities that make up the lower mainland, without interrupting current operations.

The Ruskin Powerhouse project is located on the Stave River, just upstream of its confluence with the Fraser River, in one of the highest seismic activity level regions in North America. The plant, originally constructed in 1930, has a 58-m-high concrete gravity dam with integral spillway, concrete intake structure on the left abutment, and a powerhouse with three vertical-shaft generating units with a combined total rated plant capacity of 105 MW. Our team is performing engineering services in support of the ongoing Ruskin Improvement Project including but not limited to detailed design, engineering, potential failure modes analysis (PFMA), geotechnical investigations, electrical, mechanical, structural and civil investigations/final designs, feasibility studies, cost analysis, construction specifications, and procurement specifications.

One main challenge this project posed was determining what equipment needed to be removed and added for each phase, as the plant has to remain operational while equipment is being retired. Our team of expert’s used BIM to ensure a consistent design across disciplines, which drastically helps with construction phasing coordination. Our team’s investigation and design provided BC Hydro assurance that the powerhouse, situated at the toe of the slope, would not be damaged by slide debris during normal, high water, or seismic load conditions. We provided detailed drawings, isometrics, animations, walkthroughs, and clash detection with BIM. Once completed, our goal with this project is ensuring that the surrounding communities continue to receive clean and reliable energy for years to come. 

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