Plutonic sells four development projects to AltaGas Income Trust

Plutonic Power Corp. has sold the 14-MW Rainy River hydroelectric project and three Hope-area hydro development projects totaling 37.5 MW to AltaGas Income Trust of Calgary, Alberta, for C$4.5 million (US$4.52 million).

In addition to Rainy River, near Gibson, British Columbia, Plutonic sold 6.5-MW Emory Creek, 7-MW American Creek, and 24-MW Ruby and Garnet, all three in the Hope, B.C., area. The projects are in various stages of development.

Plutonic suspended plans to develop Rainy River in 2007, citing environmental complexities posed by discovery of a number of fish species in the project area. (HNN 8/3/07) Even so, AltaGas said Rainy River is in an advanced stage of development and could become operational as early as 2010.

In the transaction, Plutonic sold all hydrological and environmental data and engineering and permitting work completed over four years for the projects, water-use applications, and land-use permits.

AltaGas, which acquires and grows gas and power infrastructure, paid Plutonic by issuing it special warrants for AltaGas trust units. It said the deal advances its renewable energy strategy.

AltaGas holds about 175 MW of renewable energy capacity in development, including a wind park and six run-of-river hydro projects, all in British Columbia.

Plutonic said Feb. 13 the sale would enable it to focus on developing its �Green Power Corridor� projects in Toba, Bute, and Knight inlets along British Columbia’s southwest coast.

�As construction progresses on our East Toba River/Montrose Creek run-of-river project and as we move toward the development of our Upper Toba and Bute projects in the Green Power Corridor, with more than 1,000 MW, we felt it prudent to focus our efforts on this undertaking and divest ourselves of our smaller development assets,� Plutonic Power Chief Executive Officer Donald McInnes said.

Plutonic’s 196-MW East Toba River/Montrose Creek project is under construction. (HNN 11/12/07) Operation of the 123-MW East Toba site is scheduled for mid-2010, and 73-MW Montrose by late 2010. The 120-MW Upper Toba Valley project — including 30-MW Dalgleish Creek, 50-MW Jimmie Creek, and 40-MW Upper Toba — is in the proposal stage. (HNN 8/1/07)

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