B.C. gives environmental approval to five-plant Upper Harrison

British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office has issued an environmental certificate approving the proposed 102.5-MW Upper Harrison project, a group of five run-of-river hydroelectric plants.

EAO issued the certificate to Cloudworks Energy Inc. of Vancouver, on Sept. 21. EAO and federal agencies collaborated on the environmental assessment process and prepared a report that concluded Upper Harrison would not have significant environmental, social, or health effects. (HNN 2/17/06)

The certificate contains more than 40 commitments from Cloudworks including mitigation measures to protect fish, wildlife, and their habitat. Cloudworks also committed to: protect areas of cultural significance to the Douglas First Nation; develop and implement compensation and monitoring programs; and appoint a person to be responsible for implementing and monitoring all environmental programs.

In addition to the environmental assessment certificate, Cloudworks still needs to obtain provincial licenses and leases, and federal authorizations, approvals, and leases, British Columbia’s Environment Ministry said.

The five powerhouses are to be built near the north end of Harrison Lake: 28-MW Lamont Creek, 18-MW Northwest Stave River, 16.6-MW Tipella Creek, 6-MW Upper Fire Creek, and 33.9-MW Upper Stave River. Upper Fire Creek and Tipella Creek would be built upstream of Harrison Lake. The other three plants would be built in the Stave River watershed. Cloudworks estimates capital costs could total as much as C$300 million (US$266 million).

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