Canadian News

Ontario launches Aboriginal Energy Partnership Program

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) announced the launch of the Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program (AEPP), designed to develop hydropower assets and boost the supply of clean energy.

The goal of the AEPP is to assist First Nation and Metis communities in developing renewable energy generation facilities while helping to build the province’s energy supply, according to the Ontario Waterpower Association.

The three components of the program are designed to work in concert to achieve this goal:

Aboriginal Renewable Energy Fund, which assists with some of the initial project development costs associated with First Nation and Metis community renewable energy projects;

Aboriginal Renewable Energy Network which is a Web-based resource ( of information relating to conservation and renewable energy development that will continue to evolve based on the needs and input from Ontario’s Aboriginal communities; and,

Aboriginal Community Energy Plans which will assist communities to identify and act upon their local conservation and renewable energy development opportunities.

Over the last five years, the waterpower industry has worked with Aboriginal communities and government agencies through a “Waterpower Working Group” to design and deliver a series of practical programs and products focused on enhancing community awareness and understanding of waterpower and improving the ability for communities to be actively involved in project development.

Aecon, Kiewit to build Lower Mattagami hydropower complex

Aecon Group Inc. is partnering with Peter Kiewit Sons Co. for a $1.7 billion design-build contract awarded by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) for the construction of the Lower Mattagami hydropower complex in Ontario. Under the agreement, Aecon holds a 20-percent interest in the construction joint venture that will redevelop four hydropower generating stations on the Mattagami River, Aecon said.

OPG said it will add generating units at existing stations in Little Long, Harmon and Kipling. It will also replace a fourth generating station, Smoky Falls, with a new three-unit station at the existing site. In total, the project will produce about 440 MW of new hydropower, bringing the complex’s total capacity to about 924 MW, OPG reported. The project is scheduled for completion in 2015.

Sequoia Energy acquires C-Free Power Corp hydropower

Sequoia Energy Inc. acquired the assets of Calgary-based renewable energy company C-Free Power Corp. and established a Calgary office with the intent of broadening Sequoia’s renewable energy role in North America.

“C-Free’s renewable energy assets add over 1,600 megawatts of developmental wind and water power projects to Sequoia’s active development in five Canadian provinces and 15 U.S. states. The C-Free assets are an important addition to the new energy pipeline Sequoia is developing across North America, including western Canada,” said Sequoia President and CEO Ron Diduch.

Diduch said: “The C-Free staff and the projects they’ve been working on in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan are a great addition to our efforts to create more renewable energy for North America. The Calgary office complements our current staff. Together, we improve the role we all play in bringing better energy solutions to this part of the world.”

AltaGas agrees to buy power from Forrest Kerr hydro project

AltaGas Income Trust, through an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, signed a 60-year CPI indexed electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro for its 195-MW Forrest Kerr run-of-river project. The construction site is in northwest British Columbia, north of Stewart.

The Forrest Kerr hydro project is to be constructed within Tahltan Nation traditional territory and is estimated to cost about C$700 million. The Forrest Kerr Project is expected to be the first of three run-of-river power generation projects in the area.

Once completed, the project is expected to provide enough electricity for about 70,000 homes in British Columbia. The Forrest Kerr project is expected to come into service in 2014.

“The Forrest Kerr Project represents an important evolution in AltaGas’ power business as we continue to build long-term contracted generation assets,” said David Cornhill, chairman and chief executive officer of AltaGas. “These projects will provide the people of British Columbia with clean and reliable power from a significant water resource. For our investors, this announcement comes at an important time in history as governments move to reduce emissions while building for the future.”

The Forrest Kerr project will channel a portion of the Iskut River flow through a tunnel to an underground powerhouse, where it will pass through turbines to produce electricity, before it is returned to the river.

Barr Creek hydropower project construction begins

Construction of the access roads for the Barr Creek Hydro Project is underway, said Synex International Inc.

The hydro project is a proposed 4.4-MW plant that will be built near the Village of Tahsis on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The project will be owned and operated by the Barr Creek Limited Partnership and its general partner, Barr Creek Hydro Ltd.

Synex International Inc. is a public company with businesses that cover the development, ownership and operation of electrical generation facilities and the provision of consulting engineering services in water resources, particularly hydroelectric facilities.

Manitoba Hydro, Xcel Energy extend purchase agreement

Provincial utility Manitoba Hydro and Minnesota-based Xcel Energy have enhanced and extended by ten years a power purchase agreement worth nearly $3 billion.

The power sale starts in 2015 and will extend contracts through 2025. Under the agreement, Xcel Energy will purchase between 375 and 500 MW of power from Manitoba Hydro. The agreement is subject to approval by the National Energy Board of Canada and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

Xcel Energy estimates that continuation of its contract with Manitoba Hydro will avoid about 7.6 million tons of carbon emissions that might otherwise result if the utility had to rely on natural gas-fired generating capacity to meet anticipated demand over the ten-year contract period.

Innu group attempts to stop construction of Romaine project

An Innu community launched a legal bid to block construction of the Romaine hydroelectric project in Quebec.

The Innu of Uashat and Mani-Utenam filed a request for a temporary injunction to halt the project. They say the proposed development and planned transmission lines run through their ancestral territory without their consent.

Construction on the 1,550-MW project was launched in May 2009 and is expected to continue through 2020. The first of four hydro plants is expected to be operational by 2014. The Romaine project is expected to cost about C$6.5 billion (US$6.2 billion).

The Romaine project is on the Romaine River on the North Shore. The motion for the injunction was set to be heard in Quebec Superior Court in July.

BC Hydro selects small hydro projects under Clean Power Call

An additional two projects were selected for an electricity purchase agreement (EPA) under BC Hydro’s Clean Power Call. Combined, the 45-MW Pacific Greengen and 31-MW Long Lake Joint Venture small hydro projects will generate an additional 287 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity annually.

Also, hydro generator Run of River Power Inc. (ROR Power) signed a 40-year electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro for its 25-MW Mamquam Power Project.

Run Of River Power develops renewable, sustainable energy through its portfolio of run-of-river hydro and biomass projects in British Columbia.Under the terms of the agreement, ROR Power will supply 68 GWh of firm electricity per year to BC Hydro, resulting in green energy for about 9,500 homes in BC, ROR Power reported. British Columbia’s new clean energy plan calls for increased efficiency and an increase in the amount of energy the province gets from hydropower and other renewable energy sources. ROR Power will be working with provincial and federal permitting and approval agencies, local communities, and its First Nations partners over the next two years. Construction is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2012, with commercial operation set for January 2014.

Plutonic, GE agree to buy power from Upper Toba Valley project

Plutonic Power Corporation and GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, signed a 40-year power purchase agreement with BC Hydro for the 124-MW Upper Toba Valley Hydroelectric Project.

“Today’s agreement builds on the already exceptional track record Plutonic Power and its partner GE Energy Financial Services have developed in BC,” said Plutonic Power Corporation’s Vice-Chair and CEO, Donald McInnes.

The Upper Toba Valley Project, which will be built in the Toba Valley 150 kilometers north of Powell River, will consist of two run-of-river hydroelectric facilities: Upper Toba River and Jimmie Creek.

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