British Columbia has issued an environmental assessment certificate necessary to develop the proposed 49.9-MW Kwoiek Creek hydroelectric project.
B.C. Environment Minister Barry Penner and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Blair Lekstrom announced the decision March 18, following a review by the province’s Environmental Assessment Office.
Kwoeik Creek Resources L.P., a joint venture of Innergex II Power Trust and the Kanaka Bar Indian Band, is developing the run-of-river project. Innergex is responsible for management of project construction and operation. The C$152 million (US$123 million) project is proposed for a site on Kwoiek Creek on the west side of Fraser Canyon about 14 kilometers south of Lytton.
An 80-kilometer transmission line also will be built between the project and the Highland Valley substation near Ashcroft, delivering electricity to BC Hydro under a long-term contract awarded in 2006. (HNN 7/28/06)
The EAO concluded the project is not likely to have significant adverse effects, based on mitigation measures and commitments included as conditions of the environmental assessment certificate.
The certificate includes 74 commitments Kwoiek Creek Resources L.P. must implement throughout various stages of the project. Key commitments include: providing fish passage around a project diversion structure; maintaining in-stream flows to protect fish and fish habitat; and developing mitigation/compensation, access management, and monitoring plans in consultation with regulatory agencies.
If the project advances, as many as 120 direct construction jobs are expected to be created for two years, with additional indirect employment for provision of services to support construction activities and workers, the Environment Ministry said. The developer has committed to providing opportunities to workers within First Nations, and is expected to pay the B.C. government C$670,000 (US$543 million) annually in water rental fees and another C$600,000 (US $486,000) annually in property taxes.