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Boralex acquires 14.5-MW Ocean Falls hydro station in B.C.

Hydro operator Boralex Inc. announced April 6 it completed the acquisition of the 14.5-MW Ocean Falls hydroelectric project in northern British Columbia, the company's first hydro plant in the province.

Boralex signed an agreement to acquire the project in June 2008, and closed the acquisition following the receipt of regulatory approvals and other consents. (HNN 6/13/08)

The project is located in the small coastal community of Ocean Falls, in a remote area of B.C. about 300 miles north of Vancouver and 55 miles west of Bella Coola.

Boralex did not disclose the purchase price or the name of the seller. However, previous owners have included Central Coast Power Corp., an independent power producer that acquired the plant years ago from Ocean Falls Corp.

Although the power station has an installed capacity of 14.5 MW, only 2 MW currently is being generated and sold. Utility BC Hydro is purchasing most of that electricity under a long-term energy sales contract, Boralex said.

"Boralex aims to initially optimize the 2 MW currently being generated by the Ocean Falls power station,� Boralex President Patrick Lemaire said. �Subsequently, our goal is to bring on-stream the additional 12.5 MW. The future development of the remaining capacity will be done over the next few years."

The installed capacity of the project potentially could be increased to more than 35 MW, Boralex said.

Additionally, Boralex announced it acquired development rights for two other hydropower projects in the same region of B.C., representing an additional 10 MW. However, the company did not provide details about those projects.

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