AltaGas, BC Hydro sign purchase agreement for Forrest Kerr hydro project

AltaGas Income Trust, through an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, has signed a 60-year CPI indexed electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro for its 195-MW Forrest Kerr run-of-river hydro project, AltaGas announced.

The construction site is located in northwest British Columbia, north of Stewart. The Forrest Kerr hydro project is to be constructed wholly within Tahltan Nation traditional territory and is estimated to cost about C$700 million. The Forrest Kerr Project is expected to be the first of three run-of-river power generation projects in the area, AltaGas reported.

Once completed, the project is expected to provide enough electricity for approximately 70,000 homes in British Columbia. The Forrest Kerr project is expected to come into service in 2014.

“The Forrest Kerr Project represents an important evolution in AltaGas’ power business as we continue to build long-term contracted generation assets,” said David Cornhill, chairman and chief executive officer of AltaGas. “These projects will provide the people of British Columbia with clean and reliable power from a significant water resource. For our investors, this announcement comes at an important time in history as governments move to reduce emissions while building for the future.”

The Forrest Kerr project will channel a portion of the Iskut River flow through a tunnel to an underground powerhouse, where it will pass through turbines to produce electricity, before it is returned to the river, reports indicate.

BC recently selected the Pacific Greengen and Long Lake Joint Venture hydro projects for an electricity purchase agreement (EPA) under BC Hydro’s Clean Power Call.

Combined, the small hydro projects will generate 287 GWh of electricity annually.

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