Plutonic Power Corp. said Aug. 3 it suspended plans to develop the 15-MW Rainy River hydroelectric project due to environmental complexities posed by discovery of a number of fish species in the project area.
Construction was to have started in July. However, Plutonic said it informed utility BC Hydro of its intention to withdraw from a power sales contract for the project. (HNN 3/13/07) Plutonic said complexities in the permitting process had decreased certainty of the project’s commercial operation date.
Several species, including salmon and steelhead, were discovered above the project site. The presence of those species, in addition to resident species in the project’s proposed diversion reach, were not anticipated and have made obtaining permits more difficult, Plutonic said.
ï¿½Any future actions on Rainy River will take into account these new complexities,ï¿½ Plutonic President Donald McInnes said. ï¿½Plutonic currently is reviewing a full range of options for this project.ï¿½
While the issues might be addressed, due to uncertainty about the timing, Plutonic chose to withdraw from the power purchase agreement. Instead, it will refocus efforts to develop projects in its Green Power Corridor, a series of non-storage hydroelectric projects in southwestern British Columbia. (HNN 8/1/07)
BC Hydro awarded the power purchase agreement for Rainy River and several other projects that Plutonic proposed in response to the utility’s 2006 call for power. Plutonic authorized a contractor in July to begin construction of infrastructure for one of those projects ï¿½- 123-MW East Toba River and 73-MW Montrose Creek. (HNN 7/19/07)