195-MW Forrest Kerr hydropower plant begins operation

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AltaGas Ltd.'s 195-MW Forrest Kerr hydropower plant is now generating energy, following the final commissioning of the project's powerhouse and high-voltage switchyard in July.

The run-of-river plant is now delivering power via the Northwest Transmission Line at Bob Quinn, British Columbia, the utility said, though the plant will not be in full commercial operation until the end of the third quarter.

HydroWorld.com reported in May that the project was nearing completion after the weir, intake structure, desanding area and radial gate control valve were all commissioned.

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.

"This significant milestone is truly remarkable and was made possible by the outstanding contributions of our dedicated employees and contractors, the Tahltan First Nation, BC Hydro and the government of British Columbia."

AltaGas signed a 60-year CPI indexed electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro for power generated at the plant in June 2010.

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