Canada invests in First Nation’s 4.4-MW Winchie Creek hydro project

The Canadian government announced it is investing C$554,487 (US$502,391) in the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s 4.4-MW Winchie Creek hydroelectric project to be built in British Columbia.

The Ministry for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) said the funding will help finance professional and technical costs of developing Winchie Creek near Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island. That work is to include project planning, hydrology/environmental studies and engineering designs.

The Winchie Creek project involves construction of a small weir that will divert water to an intake through a penstock to a powerhouse where it will generate 10.5 GWh annually.

Winchie Creek is the third run-of-river hydro project undertaken by the Tla-o-qui-aht. The 6-MW Haa-ak-suuk Creek project is nearing completion.

The Tla-o-qui-aht’s 5.5-MW Canoe Creek project has been operating since 2010. The Barkley Project Group, along with Amnis Engineering and Hazelwood Construction One, worked with Vitaulic, a manufacturer of mechanical pipe, to develop Canoe Creek.

The government funding was provided under the AANDC’s Community Opportunity Readiness Program, which provides project-based funding to First Nation and Inuit communities in support of economic opportunities.

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