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Fortis to invest in 335-MW Waneta project

Fortis Inc., in partnership with Columbia Power Corp. and Columbia Basin Trust, will construct a 335-MW hydropower generating facility at an estimated cost of $900 million.

The hydropower facility, named the Waneta Expansion, is sited near the Waneta Dam and powerhouse facilities on the Pend d'Oreille River, south of Trail, British Columbia. Both Columbia Power and Columbia Basin are wholly owned corporations of the government of British Columbia.

Subject to negotiation and completion of definitive agreements, Fortis will own 51 percent of the Waneta Expansion and will operate and maintain the non-regulated investment when the facility comes into service, which is expected in spring 2015.

Federal and provincial environmental assessment approvals are in place for the project.

"Fortis is excited about this opportunity to grow our non-regulated hydroelectric generation business in British Columbia, where we have well-established regulated utility operations at FortisBC and Terasen Gas," said Stan Marshall, president and chief executive officer, Fortis Inc.

The Waneta Expansion will become part of the Canal Plant Agreement and will receive fixed energy and capacity entitlements based upon long-term average water flows, thereby significantly reducing hydrologic risk associated with the project.

Deal for New England power line expected this year

Canada's Hydro-Quebec is expected to reach an agreement with Northeast Utilities and NStar by the end 2010 on a planned high-voltage transmission line to boost power exports to New England, the utility said.

Hydro-Quebec's vice-president for wholesale markets said the utility could partner on a project into New York as well, having been approached by developers looking to increase transmission capacity into the state and New York City.

Hydro-Quebec expects the Northeast U.S. to benefit from low cost hydro generation, which doesn't produce heat-trapping greenhouse gases linked to climate change.

The utility now exports between 18 billion to 19 billion kilowatt-hours a year, with plans to expand that amount to 25 billion kWh annually in the coming years as new hydro generation comes on line.

Fort Chicago announces purchase of B.C. Hydro assets

Fort Chicago Energy Partners L.P. entered into agreements with ENMAX Corp. of Calgary, Alberta, to acquire interests in ENMAX's portfolio of run-of-river hydroelectric facilities and development projects in British Columbia.

The assets being acquired include 33 MW generated by three operating assets and rights to other development projects.

The aggregate purchase price to be paid by Fort Chicago to ENMAX is $114.9 million, including working capital at closing and project debt of $12 million.

Voith Hydro wins turbine contract for G.M. Shrum project

B.C. Hydro awarded a contract to Voith Hydro for the complete overhaul of five Francis turbine units for the Gordon M. Shrum hydropower plant near Hudson's Hope in British Columbia.

The contract decision was made after a competitive model test at the facilities of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The project is the largest turbine replacement project BC Hydro has awarded so far, Voith said.

The value of the contract was not disclosed.

Voith Hydro's scope of supply includes five new 310-MW turbines, site construction, installation and start-up. The first unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2012.

Each year, one unit will be replaced until all five units are in service in early 2017.

The overhaul by Voith Hydro will improve the availability and reliability of these units, while the rated output of each turbine will be increased from 266 MW to 310 MW.

Consequently, an additional annual electricity generation of 177 gigawatt-hours with the same water usage is granted, enough to power an additional 15,000 homes.

The turbine units of Gordon M. Shrum hydropower plant were put into operation in the late 1960s. They represent 12 percent of BC Hydro's power production capacity.

Toba-Montrose project features large Coanda screen

Elgin Equipment Group's Norris Screen and Cook Legacy announced the completion of what they report is the largest Coanda screen project in the world.

The companies teamed up to design and build a large array of Coanda effect screens for the Toba Montrose hydropower project in British Columbia's Toba Valley.

Coanda screens operate by shearing off layers of river flow while allowing remaining water, along with fish and debris, to travel downstream.

For the Toba Montrose Project, the 25-screen span stretches nearly 200 feet across Montrose Creek, making it the largest Coanda project in the world, Norris Screen said.

"The weir is 200 feet in length, which makes it the largest one that we know of anywhere," according to Tim Lilly, operations manager for Norris Screen.

Editor's Note: For more details about the Toba-Montrose project, see the cover story, Hydro Headway, on page 8.

AXYS Technologies named BC Export Award finalist

AXYS Technologies Inc. has been selected as a finalist for a 2010 BC Export award in the category of Advancing Technologies.

AXYS Technologies designs, manufactures, distributes and maintains remote environmental data acquisition, processing and telemetry systems.

The Advancing Technologies Award recognizes a company that has effectively harnessed the powers of intellectual property and value-added know-how.

The BC Export Awards celebrates excellence in British Columbia's export industry, the second largest contributor to the BC economy.

AXYS has experienced year-to-year percentage growth in value of export sales and increased sales volume over the past year.

On November 19, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, in partnership with the BC Government's Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development, will celebrate British Columbia's Top 25 Exporters at the 28th Annual BC Export Awards Gala Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver.

A winner in each of the eight categories will be announced at the event.


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