British Columbia issues certificate for 196-MW East Toba-Montrose

British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office has issued an environmental assessment certificate, advancing development of Plutonic Power Corp.’s 196-MW East Toba River and Montrose Creek project and transmission line in the Toba River Valley.

The certificate concludes more than two years of environmental field work, analysis, and community and government consultation, Plutonic Power President Donald McInnes said.

�This project will make a significant contribution in helping B.C. achieve energy self-sufficiency and provide numerous economic benefits to residents in the Powell River area,� McInnes said. �We are extremely excited about moving this project forward and anticipate starting construction in the next few months once … construction permits are granted.�

The project triggered a screening level review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, prompting the environmental assessment office and federal agencies to collaborate on the environmental assessment process. A federal environmental decision on the project is imminent, Plutonic added.

Plutonic Power received the environmental assessment certificate April 25. The company said it next would secure the provincial licenses and leases, and federal authorizations, approvals, and leases so the project can proceed. Plutonic Power expects those actions to occur before the end of June.

Plutonic Power already holds agreements with the Klahoose and Sliammon first nations to support the project. (HNN 3/13/07) Construction could begin before September, following closing of financing, finalization of an interconnection agreement with British Columbia Transmission Corp., and conclusion of a fixed-price construction agreement with Peter Kiewit Sons Co.

The 123-MW East Toba River and 73-MW Montrose Creek developments will be built on the East Toba River and Montrose Creek 150 kilometers north of Powell River, B.C. A 145-kilometer transmission line will connect the power plants to the grid of BC hydro, which has agreed to buy the project’s electricity. Capital costs for the power plant and transmission line are expected to total C$550 million (US$491 million), including owner costs and interest.

In April, Plutonic Power said it is developing three additional hydro projects, totaling 116 MW, near the headwaters of Toba Inlet: 28-MW Dalgleish Creek, 48-MW Jimmie Creek, and 40-MW Upper Toba River. (HNN 4/19/07)

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