First Nation agreement advances East Toba-Montrose
Project developer Plutonic Power Corp. signed an agreement with the Sechelt First Nation advancing construction of grid facilities for Plutonic’s 196-MW East Toba River Montrose Creek hydroelectric project in British Columbia.
The long-term impact benefit agreement also outlines how Plutonic and the native community will work together on future energy project development on Sechelt lands.
“Through this agreement we hope not only to enable and empower the Sechelt community through training and employment, but we also hope to build a legacy of renewable, reliable, made-in-B.C. clean energy for the next generation of the Sechelt to share with the people of B.C., energy that reduces our reliance on non-renewable imported power,” Plutonic Chief Executive Officer Donald McInnes said.
The agreement facilitates development of the transmission infrastructure and construction of the Saltery Bay substation on Sechelt territory as part of the C$660 million (US$670 million) hydro project, under construction northwest of Vancouver. Operation of the 123-MW East Toba site is scheduled by mid-2010, and 73-MW Montrose by late 2010.
In return for Sechelt leaders’ support of the project, Plutonic pledged continuing respect for Sechelt rights and title to the transmission line and substation area. The developer also is to make payments to the Sechelts for the life of the project.
Additionally, Plutonic is to offer employment and training for Sechelt members and opportunities for Sechelt companies in land clearing and construction of the substation.
The agreement also establishes a framework for partnerships on future development opportunities.
Rutter provides engineering for East Toba-Montrose
Contractor Peter Kiewit Sons Co. awarded a C$2.9 million (US$2.89 million) contract to Rutter Inc. for electrical engineering and for protection and control systems technology for the East Toba-Montrose project.
Rutter Hinz Inc., Rutter’s controls and automation division, is to design electrical systems in the East Toba River and Montrose Creek powerhouses. It also is to design and supply the control and protection system, coordinate electrical engineering tasks with Kiewit and others, and design a communication system for remote control of the units.
Kiewit is the engineering-procurement-construction contractor for Plutonic Power Corp. Other contractors include Andritz VA Tech Hydro, which is to supply electro-mechanical equipment.
GE Energy Financial is an investor-partner in the project.
Canada government authorizes construction of 8-MW Otonabee
Trent Rapids Power Corp. initiated construction of its 8-MW Otonabee River hydroelectric project at a site adjacent to Locks 22 and 23 on the Otonabee River in Ontario.
Canada Environment Minister John Baird issued a license authorizing construction in March. Construction started a month later on the river’s west bank on private lands and lands leased from Trent University and the federal government. The project will take water from the Otonabee above Lock 23 and divert a portion of the flow through a canal to a powerhouse below Lock 22.
Trent Rapids Power President Robert Allen said construction of the C$29 million (US$28.3 million) project is targeted for completion in September 2009. The powerhouse will feature turbines manufactured by VA Tech Hydro.
The Otonabee River is part of the Trent-Severn Waterway system, a 386-kilometer-long heritage corridor built between 1833 and 1920 that has featured power generation since 1909. Trent Rapids Power is a joint venture of Peterborough Utilities Inc. of Peterborough and Shaman Development Corp. of Toronto.
Canada miner pursues small hydro to power gold mine
Skyline Gold Corp. is pursuing development of several small hydro projects totaling as much as 20 MW in northwestern British Columbia to power its proposed Bronson Slope gold-copper mine.
Skyline Gold announced it is applying for a provincial water license for a 2.6-MW Bronson Creek project. The company said it started collecting detailed hydrological data on Bronson Creek in advance of a feasibility study to be completed by the end of 2008.
As the mine will require more electricity than the one power plant would produce, Skyline Gold also filed water license applications for other creeks with sufficient generating potential to meet the company’s power needs.
Skyline Gold Chairman Cliff Grandison said power plants with capacities totaling 15 to 20 MW could meet the mine’s requirements. He declined to identify the other creeks, proposed power plants, and individual capacities.
Generation from multiple small hydro plants would enable the mining company to meet its needs for electricity without connecting to the province’s grid. However, if a transmission line is built near the plants, Skyline Gold said it might deliver electricity for sale to BC Hydro, and buy back electricity at a lower price for operations.
NovaGold to boost capacity of Forrest Kerr to 195 MW
NovaGold Resources Inc. said it plans to increase the generating capacity of its proposed 115-MW Forrest Kerr hydroelectric project on British Columbia’s Iskut River to 195 MW.
NovaGold subsidiary NovaGreenPower and Hatch Energy are updating a feasibility study of the run-of-river project, 175 miles north of Prince Rupert, B.C. NovaGold said the new feasibility work is to be completed by the end of June.
The company said the project must go through an environmental approval process to authorize the increase.
NovaGold acquired the project through the 2006 acquisition of Coast Mountain Power, developer of Forrest Kerr, 60- to 70-MW More Creek, and 55- to 60-MW Mclymont Creek. All three hydropower plants are proposed for areas near NovaGold’s Galore Creek copper-gold project in northwestern B.C.
New business invests in 151.8-MW Harrison Hydro
Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure Ltd. reported it closed on an investment in 151.8-MW Harrison Hydro, a run-of-river project under construction in British Columbia.
Cloudworks Energy Inc. is developing the C$500 million (US$493.7 million) project, which includes six powerhouses in two groups, near Harrison Lake.
The Lower Lillooet project group includes 27.6-MW Douglas Creek, 25-MW Fire Creek, and 21-MW Stokke Creek. The Upper Harrison project group consists of 16.7-MW Tipella Creek, 33.5-MW Upper Stave River, and 28-MW Lamont Creek.
Two other powerhouses once mentioned in connection with Harrison Lake – 18-MW Northwest Stave River and 6-MW Upper Fire Creek – are licensed and permitted but currently are not being built as part of Harrison Hydro.
CC&L Infrastructure was created by Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group to invest in North American infrastructure assets and businesses.
South Cranberry Creek: On-line report
The 9.5-MW South Cranberry Creek Power hydroelectric project 30 kilometers south of Revelstoke, British Columbia, began operations in early 2008.
On-site construction began in September 2005. The project began operating in January 2008, project owner and operator Advanced Energy Systems 1 LP reported.
The project is expected to generate 40 gigawatt-hours annually for sale to BC Hydro under a 30-year contract.
South Cranberry Creek was one of 14 hydropower projects that won power contracts under BC Hydro’s 2002-2003 Green Power Generation call for tenders.
The 9.5-MW South Cranberry Creek project is generating electricity for sale under a 30-year contract to utility BC Hydro.
Sigma Engineering was design engineer and primary consultant. Elite Engineering/Schneider Canada was responsible for electrical engineering and procurement. Jem Energy served as independent engineer.
A number of equipment and service suppliers and providers participated, including Summit Power/Elite Engineering, which supplied and installed the water-to-wire turbine-generator package. North American Pipe and Steel supplied steel penstock, which Speer Construction installed. JDG Construction was responsible for powerhouse supply and installation.
Vic Van Isle did concrete work. Baumann Engineering handled geotechnical issues and Summit Environmental addressed environmental items. Forsite Consultants performed survey and road design. Westpark Electric supplied the transmission line.
AECOM to acquire Tecsult to add hydropower expertise
AECOM Technology Corp., a provider of technical and management support services for government and commercial clients, plans to bolster its hydropower expertise with the acquisition of Tecsult Inc., an international engineering firm based in Canada.
Tecsult shareholders approved the acquisition, which was subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
AECOM said Tecsult’s hydro expertise – a primary strength of the 1,100-member firm – would expand AECOM’s energy practice. Tecsult is expected to be an integral part of AECOM’s international development group. It also is expected to strengthen AECOM’s global infrastructure practice, especially in Canada.
“AECOM is expanding its energy practice – particularly in hydropower – and we are expanding the broad portfolio of expert services that we can deliver to our clients around the world,” AECOM President John Dionisio said.
The Los Angeles-based AECOM employs more than 33,000 people around the world, serving clients in more than 60 countries. It provides services to a broad range of markets, including energy, environment, transportation, and facilities. Tecsult, founded in 1961, has completed projects in more than 80 countries on five continents. It is headquartered in Montreal, Québec.
Manitoba Hydro recognized for environmental stewardship
The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) presented Manitoba Hydro the national Environmental Stewardship Award. The award recognizes the utility’s partnership with the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) to develop