Alberta regulators begin review of Canada’s 100-MW Dunvegan

Alberta Province’s regulatory review of the 100-MW Dunvegan hydroelectric project is expected to begin early this year, Canadian Hydro Developers said.

A 30-day public comment period should begin in January or February, to be initiated by regulatory agencies through advertisements in local newspapers, Canadian Hydro said.

Based on initial discussions with Alberta Environment, Canadian Hydro anticipates a minimum 12-month review period. If approvals are received within that time frame, the company said site preparation could begin in 2008, with commissioning planned for fall 2011.

In October, Canadian Hydro subsidiary Glacier Power Ltd. submitted a final application to Alberta Environment, the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, and the Natural Resources Conservation Board to build and operate the project.

The site for the proposed run-of-river project is two kilometers upstream of Dunvegan Bridge on the Peace River. Canadian Hydro estimates capital costs of more than C$300 million (US$256 million). The project would feature 40 turbines, each rated at 2.5 MW.

In 2003, Alberta Energy and Utilities Board denied the company’s application for an 80-MW Dunvegan project, citing uncertain effects on fish and a risk of flooding in the town of Peace River. Canadian Hydro subsequently announced it would reapply, consolidating information with new evidence on ice modeling, mitigation for the town of Peace River, and fish studies.

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