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BC Hydro Gets Approval for John Hart Hydroelectric Plant Replacement

The British Columbia Utilities Commission has given a go-ahead for the replacement of the 126-MW John Hart hydropower station, has learned.

Located on the Campbell River, replacement of the John Hart Generating Station deemed the most cost effective way of addressing a number issues associated with the current 65-year-old hydro plant. reported in July 2012 that the plant's owner, BC Hydro, had short-listed three consortia to construct a 138 MW replacement.

The new John Hart overhaul is expected to cost between US$984 million and $1.18 billion and will include a new replacement intake at the John Hart Spillway Dam, the replacement of an existing 2.1-kilometer tunnel with three 1.8-kilometer pipelines, the construction of a replacement power plant next to the existing one, and building of a new water bypass.

Work on the project is expected to take five years and will create about 400 jobs, according to BC Hydro.

"BC Hydro would like to thank the customer and other stakeholder groups who participated in the regulatory process, government agencies, and local community and business organizations who played a key role in shaping this project," said Chris O'Riley, BC Hydro Executive Vice-President of Generation.

The company said the project will protect fish, reduce John Hart's footprint, power Vancouver Island and decrease seismic risk.

BC Hydro announced it would proceed with environmental and regulatory reviews in Mach 2012.

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