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Innergex, First Nations to develop six British Columbia small hydro projects

Innergex Hydropower Signing

Hydro developer Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. has signed an agreement with the In-SHUCK-ch Nation to develop six run-of-river hydroelectric projects totaling 150 MW in British Columbia.

Innergex and the In-SHUCK-ch, which represents the Samahquam Nation and the Skatin Nations, agreed Aug. 12 on commercial terms for a 50-50 partnership to develop the projects on six creeks in the nation's traditional territories between the Harrison and Lillooet lakes. Projects include Rogers Creek, Snowcap Creek, Gowan Creek, Kakila Creek, Tuwasus Creek and Billygoat Creek.

The partners are in discussions with British Columbia and utility BC Hydro to ensure viability of the projects through long-term power purchase contracts with BC Hydro.

"We are extremely pleased to have entered this agreement with the In-SHUCK-ch Nation, and we look forward to working in partnership with them, respectfully and collaboratively, on sustainable economic development opportunities for their communities," said Richard Blanchett, Innergex senior vice president-Western Region.

In April 2013, the In-SHUCK-ch signed a letter of understanding with the governments of Canada and British Columbia agreeing on treaty terms including transfer of lands in the Rogers Creek area where the first project will be developed and where the nation's government house will be located. Other parcels intended for hydro development will be transferred to the Samahquam Nation and the Skatin Nations upon ratification by the In-SHUCK-ch.

"It's no accident that we're finalizing our partnership agreement with Innergex at the same time as we are concluding the treaty," In-SHUCK-ch chief negotiator Eppa (Gerard Peters) said. "A successful treaty means we must begin to pay our way, and our green energy projects will make that possible. For the In-SHUCK-ch Nation, this means moving away from dependency and taking our proper place within Canada."

Innergex operates 26 hydroelectric projects, six wind farms and a solar farm totaling 687 MW in Canada and the United States.

In June, Innergex and Desjardins Group Pension Plan acquired the 30.5-MW Sainte-Marguerite 1 hydropower plant in Quebec from the Hydromega Group. In March, Innergex and BC Hydro agreed to reconfigure the proposed 81.4-MW Upper Lillooet and 25.3-MW Boulder Creek hydro plants in Innergex' Upper Lillooet project. In February, the developer reported the start of commercial operation at its 17.5-MW Northwest Stave River hydropower plant in British Columbia.

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