Canadian News

Financing closes for 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydropower project

Financial closing for Canada’s 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydroelectric plant has been achieved, international business law and litigation firm Fasken Martineau said.

The US$4.5 billion project and its associated maritime transmission link are being developed by Newfoundland and Labrador’s Nalcor Energy.

The Canadian federal government announced a Sovereign Guarantee for the project in December 2013.

The Muskrat Falls plant will be located on the Churchill River in Labrador, downstream from the existing Churchill Falls project. It is one component of the Lower Churchill complex, which could eventually also include the 2,250-MW Gull Island plant.

Muskrat Falls has stirred controversy throughout its development, although multiple studies have defended it as the least-cost option for future power generation. Muskrat Falls received the official go-ahead from Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale in December 2012.

Companies working on the project include Italian contractor Astaldi as the major civil works company and Andritz Hydro in February as the turbine and generator supplier.

Work complete at 49.9-MW Kwoiek Creek plant

Litostroj Hydro Inc. has put four turbine-generator groups into operation at British Columbia’s 49.9-MW Kwoiek Creek hydroelectric plant.

Litostroj equipped the project’s powerhouse with four horizontal Pelton turbines. The company also supplied and installed generators, spherical inlet valves and other auxiliaries.

The project, developed through a joint venture of Innergex II Power Trust and the Kanaka Bar Indian Band called Kwoiek Creek Resources L.P., is a run-of-river plant on a tributary to the Fraser River.

Construction began in late 2011 after 18 years of planning and preparation.

Ontario ups hydroelectric potential in new plan

Ontario’s newest Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) expands the province’s target for hydroelectric power from 9,000 MW to 9,300 MW, according to documents released by Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli in December.

The 2013 LTEP, which builds on numbers previously established in 2010, recognizes the potential role for pumped-storage hydro, as well as large and small conventional hydro sites in northern Ontario and power generation opportunities at existing infrastructure.

“This plan provides improved investment certainty for our industry,” Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) President Paul Norris said. “I am particularly pleased to see the continued emphasis on addressing the challenges of remote diesel dependency.”

Norris said OWA will continue working with Chiarelli’s ministry and other regulatory agencies to achieve their targets, with even more development opportunities expected to be identified in the province’s northern region.

Hydroelectricity already accounts for the majority of Ontario’s renewable energy, and Chiarelli said in 2013 that hydro will remain an important part of the province’s energy plan for many years to come.

Canadians Adams and Clark elected to IHA board

The International Hydropower Association announced the selection of two Canadians as president and vice president during a three-day meeting in London.

Elected as IHA president is Ken Adams, senior vice president of power supply with Manitoba Hydro. He will be joined by Vice President Colin Clark, chief technical officer with the Brookfield Renewable Energy Group.

Other newly elected IHA vice presidents include Roy Adair with Sustainable Energy Services, Lin Chuxue with China Three Gorges Corp., Gil Maranhao Neto with GDF Suez Energy Brasil, Roland Muench with Voith Hydro and Karin Seelos with Statkraft.

Marie-Anne Sauve, manager of government and institutational affairs with Hydro-Quebec, was also elected to the board to represent North America.

Each IHA board term lasts two years.

Lignum Vitae to provide bearings for Horseshoe plant

Lignum Vitae North America has been chosen by TransAlta Corporation to provide a water-lubricated thrust bearing for the 14-MW Horseshoe hydropower plant on the Bow River in southern Alberta.

The bearings were chosen because they are made of lignum vitae wood, which the supplier states is a highly efficient and low-maintenance material.

The Horsehoe complex was inducted into the Hydro Hall of Fame in 2011.

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