Electrical Engineering Services

The KCB electrical and controls team is a solutions-driven team that routinely engage and collaborate with clients and stakeholders to develop unique and project-specific solutions to electrical and control problems. Our teams focus on client end-user requirements and developing appropriate designs to meet them through collaboration, innovation, and clear communication.

KCB’s electrical department has engineered electrical power generation, power transmission, and substation projects in British Columbia, North America, and overseas. All these projects involved the design of grounding systems and specifying electrical equipment.

Our electrical engineers and technologists have the skills and experience necessary to take on design projects at any stage in the project lifecycle, regardless of size or complexity. Together with KCB’s other disciplines, we formulate project teams to deliver fully integrated multi-discipline engineering services to our clients in the core industries we serve, including hydroelectric, mining, marine, and transportation infrastructure.

Engineering Studies

The KCB electrical team has extensive experience providing a variety of engineering studies for existing and new electrical systems. We can provide engineering services during all stages of projects including conceptual, preliminary design, detailed design, and construction. Within each of these stages, we can undertake a combination of engineering activities which may include site reviews, analyses, writing specifications, completing drawings, factory testing, and site commissioning. We are familiar with working on a variety of electrical equipment in electrical buildings and facilities including power distribution, grounding, and lighting systems. We are experienced in performing electrical calculations such as lighting, load flow, arc flash, short circuit protection coordination and relay settings.

Service Areas


  • Arc Flash hazard analysis and load studies
  • Cable raceway system design
  • Electrical power distribution system design
  • Equipment specification and selection
  • Grounding and bonding design
  • Hazardous location electrical design
  • Interconnection studies
  • Interior and exterior lighting design using DIALux
  • Lightning protection studies and design
  • Motor controls and schematic design
  • Overhead power line design
  • Power system modelling using ETAP or SKM
  • Standby generator sizing and selection
  • Switchyard, substation, electrical building design

Instrumentation and Control

  • Communication and network design
  • Control system and panel design
  • Instrument specification and selection
  • Programmable logic controller programming
  • Protective relay selection and programming
  • Uninterruptable power supply sizing and selection


  • Concept design reports and estimating
  • Condition assessments on electrical systems including equipment, material, and infrastructure
  • Electrical and control design criteria
  • Equipment commissioning
  • Feasibility study reports and estimating
  • Investigate system operation, maintenance, performance, and reliability
  • Site inspections and field support
  • Specifications development and review for electrical equipment

Past Projects

Hydroelectric Generation

Snoqualmie Falls Redevelopment

As part of the large-scale upgrade and redevelopment of the historic 44.4 MW Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric plants, switchyard design was completed to connect the generator step-up transformers to the 115 kV transmission line. KCB carried out the condition assessment, preliminary and detailed design, preparation of tender documents, and construction services and commissioning. The project included the specification of medium and low voltage electrical equipment, protection and control design, and power system studies (e.g. load flow, short circuit, arc flash grounding).

Site C Clean Energy

The Site C Clean Energy project is a hydroelectric project currently under construction in northern BC on the Peace River, 7 km southwest of Fort St. John. The six-unit generating facility will provide up to 1100 MW of capacity. KCB has provided comprehensive engineering and support services since the earliest days of the project. Originally, from 1989 to 1991, KCB was involved with the preliminary design activities. In the most recent phases of the project since 2007, KCB has provided optimization, value engineering, preliminary design, tender design/specifications and final design engineering services, technical reviews, support services to the environmental assessment process, and resident engineering services. KCB has also completed design drawings and specifications for many aspects such as the power distribution, cables, raceways, lighting, and grounding systems.

Currently, Site C is in the construction phase where KCB continues to provide construction and technical support.

Elko Redevelopment

Elko is a run of river hydroelectric project owned and operated by BC Hydro. The Elko Generating Station was constructed in 1924 and contains two vertical axis Francis turbines with a combined design output of 12 MW. KCB completed the feasibility study to determine the leading alternative for a new 2 unit powerhouse with upgraded existing tunnel, culvert and intake. KCB also completed the preliminary design of the leading alternative design chosen in the feasibility phase. The electrical section of the project included a new powerhouse and bypass system with a total proposed capacity of 20.9 MW.


Horsey Substation

KCB provided conceptual and detailed design to upgrade Horsey Substation’s 230 kV SF6 gas insulated switchgear (GIS) system. The work included modifications to part of the GIS orientation and site layout, with new cable interfaces, potheads, VT support structures, foundations, and duct banks. As well, due to a failure on one of the existing buses, a third GIS feeder was added in conjunction with an expanded GIS building. While the failed section was being replaced, to mitigate the risk of an extensive customer power outage during construction, an overhead, temporary bypass strain bus to enable multiple step-down transformers to be energized from another existing GIS breaker was installed.

Shell Jackpine 72 kV and 25 kV Power Lines

Designed extensions to the existing 72 kV and 25 kV power lines at the Shell Oil Sands facility in Fort McMurray, Alberta, to supply power for the coarse sand tailings and fines pumping stations and process water reclaim pumping stations.

Dam and Spillway

Campbell River Spillway Upgrades

KCB is performing preliminary design and detailed design for upgrades of BC Hydro’s spillway gate systems in Campbell River. The John Hart, Ladore, and Strathcona Dam Seismic Upgrade Projects involve installing new equipment and upgrades to the existing electrical, protection and control system to meet current reliability standards, including post-earthquake operation. The project will strengthen the spillway system to remain functional after a 1:10,000 maximum design earthquake event as well as improve operational reliability. New gates, hoists, towers, power supplies, and control systems are planned.

The electrical design will use multiple power sources including utility power diesel generators, and a battery system. The control system will be comprised of main, backup, and emergency systems as well as redundant instrumentation to ensure reliable gate operation.

Associated power distribution and cabling will be designed, Auxiliary systems, such as lighting, grounding, security, fire protection and telecommunications are also part of the electrical work.