Canadian Spotlight

1,100-MW Peace River Site C gets environmental go-ahead

Environment Canada and the environment and forestry ministers of British Columbia have granted final environmental approvals for BC Hydro to construct the 1,100-MW Peace River Site C hydroelectric project in British Columbia.

BC Hydro said British Columbia still must make a final investment decision and the province-owned utility must obtain regulatory permits and authorizations before it can proceed with the C.9 billion (US billion) project.

Canada Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq issued a formal statement Oct. 14 outlining the Governor in Council’s determination that the environmental effects of the proposed Site C project are justified in the circumstances.

In a separate announcement the same day, B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak and Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations Minister Steve Thomson said Site C is in the public interest and that the benefits of the project outweigh the risks of significant adverse environmental, social and heritage effects.

Should the project proceed, B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office is to coordinate compliance management efforts with other government agencies to ensure that the office is satisfied that certificate conditions are met.

Site C is included in BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan detailing how the utility plans to meet an expected 40% increase in British Columbia’s electricity demand over the next 20 years.

Visit for more details about the Site C project and its environmental approval.

Voith Hydro wins contract to outfit 695-MW Keeyask project

Manitoba Hydro awarded a contract to Voith Hydro to design, supply and install seven vertical propeller turbine-generator units for the 695-MW Keeyask plant on the Lower Nelson River in Manitoba.

The first unit at the C$6.5 billion (US$5.9 billion) plant is expected to go on line in 2019, with all seven units being commissioned by 2020.

Keeyask is being built by the BBE Hydro Constructors Limited Partnership consortium, which includes Bechtel, Barnard Construction and EllisDon. Modular builder Britco began construction camp work in August.

The Keeyask hydro project is being developed by Manitoba Hydro in conjunction with Tatskweyak, Fox Lake, War Lake and York Factory first nations groups.

In related news, Manitoba Hydro is now seeking companies to design, manufacture, supply and install seven governors for this project, as well as provide technical support through commissioning of Units 1 through 7.

Innergex closes financing for 21.2-MW Tretheway Creek plant

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. closed C$92.2 million (US$87.2 million) in financing for the 21.2-MW Tretheway Creek project in British Columbia.

The developer said the financing is fully underwritten by National Bank Financial Inc. and Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, with both parties acting as lenders and National Bank acting as agent.

The non-recourse construction and term project financing carries a fixed interest rate of 4.99%, with the loan to convert to a 40-year term loan upon the start of commercial operation. The principal will be amortized over 35 years, beginning in its sixth year.

Construction of the plant began in 2013 on Crown land about 50 km north of Harrison Hot Springs. The project is expected to begin commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2015, at which point power generated by the Tretheway Creek facility will be delivered to BC Hydro under a 40-year fixed-price contract obtained under the province’s 2008 clean power call for proposals.

Winchie Creek receives government investments

The Canadian government has announced investments of about C$554,500 (US$502,400) in the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s 4.4-MW Winchie Creek project to be built in British Columbia.

The Ministry for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) said the funding will help finance planning, hydrology and environmental studies, as well as engineering designs for the project, which is to be located near Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Development of the project involves the construction of a small weir that will divert water to an intake, through a penstock to a powerhouse.

The funding was provided under AANDC’s community Opportunity Readiness Program, which provides project-based funding to First Nation and Inuit communities in support of economic opportunity in the country.

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