Canada provides ecoEnergy funding to 40.6-MW Magpie

The government of Canada announced it will provide C$18 million (US$17.2 million) in incentives to the 40.6-MW Magpie hydroelectric project, on the Magpie River near Riviere-Saint-Jean, Quebec.

Natural Resources Canada Minister Gary Lunn said the money will come from the federal government’s C$1.48 billion (US$1.39 billion) ecoEnergy for Renewable Power Program. (HNN 8/21/08) The program offers a financial incentive of 1 cent per kilowatt-hour produced by low-impact, renewable electricity projects for ten years after commissioning.

Magpie is the first project in Quebec to receive funding from the ecoEnergy for Renewable Power Initiative. The project is a joint venture between Hydromega Services and the Regional County Municipality of Minganie.

In a separate announcement, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities said it would make a C$2.97 million (US$2.8 million) loan to Minganie from the federation’s Green Municipal Fund program. Minganie will use the loan to help finance its costs for constructing the project.

The government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with C$550 million (US$524.4 million) to establish and manage the Green Municipal Fund. The fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water, and soil quality, and climate protection.

Built at the site of a 2-MW powerhouse closed in 1989, Magpie cost about C$75 million (US$71.6 million) to develop. Construction began in September 2005. Upon full commissioning in November 2007, Magpie began supplying an estimated 180,000 megawatt-hours a year to Hydro-Quebec. (HNN 12/11/07)

The run-of-river site features a seven-meter-tall natural fall, a concrete weir, and combined intake and powerhouse. To increase gross head to 22 meters, the developer added a 3.29-meter-diameter inflatable rubber dam to the top of the existing weir.

A 50-meter intake canal directs flow of 210 cubic meters per second to the intake. Water from the powerhouse is discharged into a 150-meter tailrace canal.

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