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195-MW Forrest Kerr hydroelectric plant nears completion

British Columbia

Canadian utility AltaGas Ltd. has announced the start of waterflow at its 195-MW Forrest Kerr hydropower project.

The weir, intake structure, desanding area and radial gate control valve have all been commissioned, AltaGas (TSX: ALA) said, while water has begun filling the power tunnel over a seven-day period in preparation for full-speed, no-load testing on the turbines and auxiliary systems.

"We are very close to starting up our Forrest Kerr facility and providing clean energy to the BC electricity grid, AltaGas CEO David Cornhill said.

The company said it expects the run-of-river plant to begin generating power later this year, subject to the availability of the Northwest Transmission Line (NTL).

HydroWorld.com reported in June 2010 that the utility had signed a 60-year CPI indexed electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro for power generated at the plant.

Forrest Kerr is located wholly within Tahltan Nation traditional territory and is estimated to cost about US$640 million. The plant draws water from the Iskut River.

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