Ontario board supports development of 8-MW Otonabee River

The Ontario Municipal Board dismissed appeals filed in opposition to Trent Rapids Power Corp.’s development of the 8-MW Otonabee River hydroelectric project in Peterborough.

Trent Rapids, a joint venture of Peterborough Utilities Inc. and Shaman Power Corp. of Toronto, proposes to build the project on the west bank of the Otonabee River adjacent to Locks 22 and 23 on private lands and lands leased from Trent University and the federal government. (HNN 10/27/06)

OMB, an independent, adjudicative tribunal that hears appeals and applications on land use disputes, issued its decision Nov. 8. It found no evidence in support of appellants’ allegations the project is of such scale and significance that it requires approval by Peterborough’s City Council, rather than committee approval. Other appeals involved questions of consent, jurisdiction, and zoning.

While the board’s decision supports the proposed project, Trent Rapids said it still needs two key approvals and a number of other approvals before it can begin construction.

A report from a Dominion Water Power Act hearing is pending, and needs the agreement of the federal environment minister. An environmental assessment of the project is in the final stages of review. Trent Rapids also anticipates an agreement soon between the company and various agencies.

Trent Rapids hopes to begin project construction in the first part of 2008, company President Bob Allen said. The project would feature a 1,050-meter power canal and a powerhouse. It is expected to take 16 months to build.

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