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Canada awards C$35 million to Kwalsa Energy project

The federal government will provide C$35 million (US$33 million) in incentives to the Kwalsa Energy project, a group of four hydroelectric plants totaling more than 90 MW being built near Harrison Lake, British Columbia.

Natural Resources Canada Minister Gary Lunn said the money would come from the government’s C$1.48 billion (US$1.39 billion) ecoEnergy for Renewable Power Program. The program offers a financial incentive of 1 cent per kilowatt-hour produced by low-impact, renewable electricity projects for ten years after commissioning.

Cloudworks Energy Inc., an energy firm specializing in run-of-river hydropower development, owns Kwalsa Energy developer Harrison Hydro L.P. When complete, the project will feature powerhouses on four waterways around Harrison Lake, about 90 kilometers northeast of Vancouver: 27.6-MW Douglas Creek; 25-MW Fire Creek; 21-MW Stokke Creek; and 16.7-MW Tipella Creek.

Cloudworks principal John Johnson joined Lunn for the announcement, made at Cloudworks’ offices in Vancouver.

“This federal program enables the Kwalsa project to address not just the construction challenges related to building clean and renewable energy in the remote regions of this province, but also to provide transmission grid access for the first time ever to our First Nations partners, the Douglas First Nation,” Johnson said.

Natural Resources Canada granted environmental approval to the plants, which are under construction and scheduled for completion in 2010. Andritz VA Tech Hydro will supply eight six-jet Pelton turbines with a maximum output of 13 MW, inlet valves, generators, and digital speed governors to the Kwalsa plants.

Organizations to help assess 2,824-MW Lower Churchill

Three non-governmental organizations will use funds provided by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) to support their participation in the environmental process for the proposed 2,824-MW Lower Churchill hydroelectric project in Labrador.

The project comprises 2,000-MW Gull Island and 824-MW Muskrat Falls, both on the Lower Churchill River.

The Sierra Club of Canada’s Atlantic Canada Chapter, Natural History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Grand Riverkeeper Labrador Inc. received funds totaling C$125,000 (US$117,000) in September. The groups applied for the funding; a funding review committee reviewed the applications and made recipient recommendations to CEAA.

The organizations can use the funds to review Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro’s environmental impact statement for the project and to participate in public hearings.

CEAA administers the federal environmental assessment process, which identifies the environmental effects of proposed projects and measures to address those effects.

Clemina Creek, Bone Creek construction starts

Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. reports it started construction of two new hydroelectric projects in British Columbia, 9.9-MW Clemina Creek and 20-MW Bone Creek.

Construction work began at both projects in June, Canadian Hydro President Ross Keating said.

Canadian Hydro, of Calgary, Alberta, plans to complete C$22 million (US$21.6 million) Clemina Creek in the spring of 2010. Mavel a.s., of the Czech Republic, is supplying a single vertical Pelton-style turbine and other equipment.

Bone Creek also is scheduled for completion in spring 2010. Canadian Hydro said it expects the project will cost C$46 million (US$45.1 million) to complete. Litostroj, of Slovenia, is supplying two horizontal double Francis-style turbines and generator equipment.

Clemina Creek and Bone Creek, and a third project proposed by Canadian Hydro, 9.6-MW Serpentine Creek, are located north of the town of Blue River.

Canadian Hydro said construction of Serpentine Creek is expected to begin in the spring of 2009.

Innergex acquires stake in 18 B.C. projects

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. purchased an ownership interest in 18 hydroelectric projects in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. The projects are being developed by Ledcor Power Group Ltd.

The proposed run-of-river projects could total more than 200 MW and generate more than 1,000 gigawatt-hours annually. Ledcor holds water licenses for all 18 projects.

Innergex said it paid C$8 million (US$7.5 million) to acquire two-thirds ownership in the projects. Ledcor, based in Vancouver, owns the other third.

Innergex President Michel Letellier said one of the 18 projects is 7.5-MW Fitzsimmons Creek. This project, under construction, is expected to be complete in fall 2010. He also identified two other projects, Hurley Creek and Upper Lillooet, which have a combined capacity of 70 MW.

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc., based in Québec, is an independent developer and operator of renewable power generating facilities, focusing on hydro and wind power. It also manages Innergex Power Income Fund’s hydro facilities.

Ledcor is an employee-owned construction company headquartered in Vancouver, B.C.

McLeod Dam: On-line Report

The newly commissioned 5-MW McLeod project on the Moira River in Belleville, Ontario, is expected to generate 5 gigawatt-hours annually.

Quinte Conservation, a conservation authority and community-based environmental protection agency in eastern Ontario, owns and operates the C$4.5 million (US$4.2 million) project at McLeod Dam.

Quinte Conservation holds a long-term commitment from the Ontario Power Authority, which purchases the project’s electricity through its Standard Offer Program. The program provides C$0.11 (US$0.10) per kilowatt-hour for power produced at green energy projects in Ontario.

A portion of the 11 cents will increase over time, based on the rise in the Consumer Price Index. There also is provision for an added premium – over and above the 11 cents – for power produced during the eight hours each day considered peak use time.

Quinte Conservation estimates its revenue from the project will total C$500,000 (US$468,000) per year, which it plans to use to help fund its conservation programs and improvements to the region’s conservation areas.

Project construction began in July 2007 and included modifications to the spillway of the existing dam, including installation of gates. The gates, adjusted by an inflatable rubber bladder, back up water to the level required to create enough head to operate the turbines. That portion of the project was completed in October 2007.

The project features two double-regulated Kaplan turbines and other equipment supplied by Canadian Hydro Components. The turbines were installed in late spring 2008. Each turbine is designed to work at peak efficiency at a flow of 11 cubic meters per second (cms). Flow records indicate that 60 percent of the year there is a flow in the river of at least 22 cms. Therefore, the turbines will run at peak efficiency 60 percent of the time.

Other contractors involved include: Hatch Energy (Acres), engineering; Obermeyer Hydro Inc., water control equipment; and Jack Alexander, electrical consultant. H.R. Doornekamp Ltd. was general contractor. Corpfinance International Ltd. was responsible for project financing.

The project entered commercial operation at the end of August 2008.

The primary purpose of McLeod Dam, constructed in 1978, is, and will remain, flood and ice control, according to Quinte Conservation, which owns 36 dams. Quinte Conservation said it has identified three more of those dams as suitable for development of power generation: Lott and Holgate on the Moira River; and Springside on the Napanee River.

Tailrace cleanup to improve Brilliant Expansion generation

Columbia Power Corp. expects to gain generation by cleaning up the tailrace at its 120-MW Brilliant Expansion project on the Kootenay River near Castlegar, British Columbia.

Columbia Power and Columbia Basin Trust own the project, immediately downstream of 145-MW Brilliant Dam.

Removing loose rock and construction of a deflection wall are to improve generation at both Brilliant Dam and Brilliant Dam Expansion by lowering the tailrace level and increasing head, Columbia Power Communications Director Audrey Repin said. The specific amount of improvement will not be known until after the work is completed, she added.

The permanent, 40-meter-long deflection wall built in the river on the north side of the new powerhouse will keep cross flows from Brilliant Dam from washing additional loose rock into the tailrace area. Cleanup, including removal of a temporary berm, is to be completed by Nov. 30 to minimize effects on fish populations.

Columbia Power chose JJM Construction Ltd. of Delta, B.C., to complete the cleanup.


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