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    Operations begin at 4.3-MW project owned by Innovente

    Quebec-based energy producer Innovente Inc. put a 4.3-MW hydro project in Saint-Patrice-de-Beurivage in Quebec into commercial service in September following a series of successful compliance tests and trials. The plant is Innovente's first renewable power source and one of three announced so far by the company. The other two are in Trois-Rivieres and Matane.

    Power generated by the plant is being sold under a 25-year power-purchase agreement with provincial utility Hydro-Quebec at a price of US$0.12 per kWh, indexed at 2.13% per year.

    Fortis pursuing new hydropower plant in British Columbia

    Fortis Generation Inc. is moving to the next stage in developing a new 45- to 65 MW hydro plant along the Similkameen River in British Columbia. The phase includes public consultations, interaction with First Nations groups and feasibility studies, Fortis said.

    "Fortis Generation believes it's important to reach out to communities and share information when a project is in the early stages of consideration," project manager Joseph Sukhnandan said. "There remains at least two years' worth of technical and environmental review and studies, continued discussions with local governments and First Nations, and broader public consultation to create a viable project."

    The company has been working with the provincial government to obtain the investigative permit needed to access land parcels for conducting technical and environmental studies. If the studies show the plant is economically, technically and environmentally feasible, Fortis will begin seeking a long-term lease for the land.

    Research regarding the potential for a water storage facility on the Similkameen River began in 1990, with subsequent studies showing such a project could assist in flood reduction within the river's basin, improve water quality and increase summer flows in the Lower Similkameen.

    "The project would provide considerable economic benefits to the area and create construction jobs," Sukhnandan said. "The facility would also become an important tax payer once operational."

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