West Kootenay Power and Light Company Ltd.

Identity area

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Corporate body

Authorized form of name

West Kootenay Power and Light Company Ltd.

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Description area

Dates of existence



An electric utility, it was incorporated by act of the B.C. Legislature on May 8, 1897. Initially the company's primary purpose was to provide hydro-electric power for the mines and camp at Rossland.

In 1916, with the smelter in Trail expanding and using huge amounts of power, the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Ltd. acquired a controlling interest in West Kootenay Power and Light Company Ltd. to ensure an adequate power supply. Additional construction of dams and generating plants made possible the growth of Cominco operations at Trail and Kimberly. The WKPL/Cominco integrated system grew to include the following hydro-electric generation plants: Lower Bonnington, Upper Bonnington, South Slocan, Corra Linn, Brilliant and Waneta. Construction began on the Waneta power project at the mouth of the Pend d'Oreille River where it joins the Columbia River south of Trail in 1952. This was the last and largest station built in the system by West Kootenay Power and Light Company Ltd.

In addition to supplying industrial needs, the system's domestic service expanded steadily through southern B.C. over the years, serving residential, commercial, irrigation, street lighting and industrial customers in an area roughly described as extending from Princeton in the west to Creston in the east and from the U.S. boundary north to Kelowna and Kaslo.

In 1986-1987 Cominco sold the company to UtiliCorp United Inc., based in Kansas City, Missouri (UtiliCorp's predecessor company was Missouri Public Service).

In 2004, Fortis Inc. acquired all the distribution, transmission and generation assets of the West Kootenay Power and Light Company and renamed it FortisBC Inc.


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ORACLE database.

BC Archives, Central Name Authority File.

Encyclopedia of B.C. Daniel Francis, editor. Harbour Publishing Ltd., 2000.

British Columbia Utilities Commission. http://www.bcuc.com/Documents/Proceedings/2013/DOC_33748_B-20_FBC-Book-of-Authorities.pdf

FortisBC (website) http://www.fortisbc.com/About/Pages/default.aspx

Maintenance notes

Record, including new administrative history, August 13, 2015, P. Washington.
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