Toronto-based Riverbank Power broke ground today on a hydroelectric project on a lake near Cottage Grove, Ore.
The 7.5-MW plant will be constructed on Dorena Lake, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-owned dam. The dam will be retrofit to create the run-of-river hydroelectric facility.
The project will provide employment to 30-40 people during construction and is an investment of US$25.26 million in the economy, according to Riverbank Power.
"Today’s groundbreaking is great news for the Oregon families who will benefit from Dorena Lake’s clean, reliable, and affordable hydropower,” says Riverbank Power President and Chief Executive Officer John Douglas.
The project was given a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission operating license for 50 years.
Riverbank Power partnered with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the local watershed council and stakeholders to protect the local wildlife habitats during development and operation of this project. As part of these efforts, the project will contribute funds for a restoration of the existing fish habitat and enhancements to the Row River watershed.
“I think this project can serve as an example for how other low-impact hydroelectric projects can be built and I look forward to its completion,” says Oregon Senator Ron Wyden. “This project will provide 1,200 Oregon homes and businesses with renewable hydroelectric power, and do so while improving fish habitat and reducing CO2 emissions.”
The hydro plant is expected to be in operation in 2013.
In May, HydroWorld.com reported that Riverbank Power had closed US$38 million in financing for this project and its 4.7-MW Clarek Canyon plant in Montana.
Hydroworld.com also reported that Riverbank Power entered into an agreement with Enxco in March to develop pumped-storage facilities in North America.