Canada developer advances plan for 16 plants totaling 280 MW

Developer Run of River Power said it is pursuing development of 16 new hydroelectric plants totaling 280 MW in British Columbia’s upper Klinaklini and Mosley watersheds.

Run of River Power announced Oct. 20 it completed initial stages of the process necessary to secure water licenses and crown land rights from the Agriculture and Lands Ministry’s Integrated Land Management Bureau and the Environment Ministry’s Water Stewardship Division.

The projects are proposed for areas south of Tatla Lake and about 220 kilometers west of Williams Lake on the Chicotin Plateau of central British Columbia. The areas include the traditional territories of the Ulkatcho First Nation (Anahim Lake Band) and the Nanwakolas Council.

Plants in the Klinaklini cluster would have a total design capacity of 184 MW, while the plants in the Mosley Cluster would feature a total design capacity of 96 MW. Run of River Power estimates the combined total output of the 16 power plants would exceed 900 gigawatt-hours annually. The company did not identify the individual plants by name.

Run of River Power said it is prepared to begin hydrological and baseline environmental studies. Local communities and First Nations will be consulted before approval is sought to build the projects, it added.

The company intends to move the projects forward with formal commencement of the First Nations referrals process with the Ulkatcho First Nation and Nanwakolas Council. The process includes development of an impact and benefits agreement addressing matters such as long-term economic participation and employment initiatives for community members, Run of River President Jako Krushnisky said.

The plants have similar attributes to existing development activities in the company’s run-of-river portfolio, Krushnisky said. Run of River Power is developing hydro projects totaling more than 680 MW of non-firm capacity, including a seven-powerhouse 180-MW Upper Pitt River project northeast of Vancouver. (HNN 3/28/08) It also operates 7.6-MW Brandywine Creek. (HNN 10/12/06)

Run of River Power subsidiary Northwest Cascade Power Ltd. could submit an application for environmental review of Upper Pitt River in spring 2009, looking to obtain an environmental assessment certificate in fall 2009. However, in the meantime, it is pursuing alternatives for the Upper Pitt River project, including a review of how the cluster could most effectively connect to BC Hydro’s grid. Earlier this year, British Columbia environment minister rejected a proposal that would have adjusted park boundaries to accommodate transmission lines for the project.

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