Canadian News

Report sees up to 12,000 MW of new hydro through 2030

A National Energy Board report examining energy scenarios for Canada through 2030 predicts increases in new hydropower construction between 10,000 and 12,000 MW for the period.

Canada’s Energy Future: An Energy Market Assessment includes three scenarios, each with its own set of assumptions, such as economic growth, action on environmental issues, and energy prices. The report also includes a Baseline Projection, the board’s view of the most likely development of energy demand and supply to 2015.

Baseline Projection

Under the Baseline Projection, hydropower would continue to be Canada’s major source of electricity to 2015, increasing its share of electricity generation to 65 percent from about 60 percent. Hydro-based capacity, excluding small hydro, is projected to reach 79,300 MW by 2015, an increase of 7,600 MW from 2005.

That projection assumes construction of 2,824-MW Lower Churchill in Newfoundland and Labrador and 200-MW Wuskwatim in Manitoba, and the completion of announced hydro projects, including expansion of existing facilities – 3,194 MW in Québec and 1,389 MW in British Columbia.

Continuing Trends scenario

In the Continuing Trends scenario, significant trends apparent at the beginning of the outlook period are presumed to continue to 2030. It projects the share of hydro-based generation would increase to 68 percent in 2030 from 65 percent in 2016, reflecting additions of 4,400 MW between 2016 and 2030.

Under that scenario, a total of 12,000 MW of new hydro would be added between 2005 and 2030. Facilities to be built between 2016 and 2030 include 900-MW Peace River Site C in British Columbia; 1,380-MW Conawapa and 620-MW Gull (Keeyask), both in Manitoba; and 1,125 MW in Québec.

Triple E scenario

The Triple E scenario refers to a balancing of economic, environmental, and energy objectives. It is characterized by well-functioning energy markets, cooperative international agreements, and rigorous energy demand management.

In that scenario, hydro generation would provide about 60 percent of electricity throughout the forecast period. Capacity would expand to 82,400 MW by 2030, an increase of 3,000 MW from 2015, and 10,000 MW from 2006.

Fortified Islands scenario

The Fortified Islands scenario places security concerns uppermost. It is characterized by geopolitical unrest, a lack of international cooperation and trust, and protectionist government policies.

Hydroelectric generation would continue to provide about 60 percent of electricity needs throughout the forecast period. Hydro-based capacity would expand to 82,200 MW by 2030, an increase of 10,450 MW from 2006.

The National Energy Board, an independent federal agency, collects and analyzes information about Canada’s energy markets through regulatory processes and market monitoring.

– The report is available from The Publications Office, National Energy Board, 444 Seventh Avenue, S.W., Calgary, Alberta T2P 0X8 Canada; (1) 403- 299-3562; E-mail:; Internet:

Newfoundland could revisit moratorium on small hydro

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador said it could revisit its 1998 decision to impose a moratorium on small hydropower projects on the island of Newfoundland.

The government’s new energy plan notes Newfoundland could need more generation to meet increasing demand before the 2,824-MW Lower Churchill project and a transmission link between Labrador and Newfoundland are complete.

The province says it will decide by 2009 whether it must implement an alternative plan for electricity supply on the island. If such a plan is needed, it said small hydro might be an effective source of renewable supply.

In 2006, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro completed feasibility studies for two hydroelectric projects – 36-MW Island Pond and 23-MW Portland Creek – that could be developed. Additionally, other potential sites on the island could be viable for small hydro projects.

If the government lifts the moratorium, it said it would institute a policy that its Energy Corp. would control and coordinate the development of small hydro projects that meet economic thresholds and are viable for an isolated island system. Project selection criteria would be developed to ensure projects selected would provide cost-effective energy.

Utility names adviser for 2,824-MW Lower Churchill

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (NLH) named PricewaterhouseCoopers to provide financial advisory services for the utility’s 2,824-MW Lower Churchill hydroelectric project.

The utility said Pricewaterhouse- Coopers was one of ten firms responding to a request for proposals.

The consultant will provide independent advice on an optimum financing strategy for the project, which would include two power plants, 2,000-MW Gull Island and 824-MW Muskrat Falls, on the Lower Churchill River in mainland Labrador.

NLH says preliminary field engineering work was in progress at Gull Island and Muskrat Falls and along potential transmission routes. Field activity has included surveying, exploratory drilling, and seismic investigations, the utility said.

NLH also said it was completing work with engineering consultants selected from a separate solicitation for engineering support services for the project: SNC Lavalin, Fugro Jacques Geosurveys Inc., and a consortium that consists of Hatch Energy, RSW Engineering, and Statnett.

The field investigation work is in addition to ongoing environmental baseline studies being performed separately in the project area by Minaskuat and AMEC environmental consultants.

British Columbia approves 435-MW Waneta Expansion

The 435-MW Waneta Expansion project on the Pend d’Oreille River cleared British Columbia’s environmental assessment (EA) process.

Environment Minister Barry Penner and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Richard Neufeld granted an environmental assessment certificate for the C$400 million (US$398 million) project near Trail, B.C., following a review led by B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office.

The Environment Ministry said the certificate contains 51 major commitments that developer Waneta Expansion Power Corp. must implement. For example, Waneta Expansion Power must mitigate any potential incremental effects to endangered white sturgeon, provide measures to compensate for loss of shallow-water habitat, and share information and consult with First Nations.

In addition to the provincial environmental assessment, the Waneta Expansion project triggered a federal EA under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) and federal agencies cooperated on the process and prepared a joint report from which EAO concluded project effects would be acceptable, subject to implementation of mitigation measures and the sponsor’s commitments.

Additional provincial authorizations, and approvals by Canada’s Minister of the Environment and federal regulatory authorities, are needed before the project can proceed.

Waneta Expansion would include a new powerhouse with two turbine-generators to be in service by 2011 and a 10-kilometer, 230-kilovolt transmission line. The project would be built without a new dam, new reservoir, or enlargement of existing reservoirs. The project would reduce the amount of water spilled at the nearby 400-MW Waneta Dam, owned by Teck Cominco Metals Ltd., reducing total dissolved gas downstream and improving Columbia River water quality to the benefit of aquatic species, the Environment Ministry said.

BC Hydro names contractor for 500-MW Revelstoke Unit 5

BC Hydro awarded a contract to Peter Kiewit Sons Co. for construction of civil works and a penstock for a 500-MW unit to be added to 1,980-MW Revelstoke Dam on the Columbia River in British Columbia.

Although the value of the contract was not disclosed, capital cost estimates for the entire Revelstoke Unit 5 project ranged from C$280 million to $350 million (US$278 million to $348 million).

Peter Kiewit was selected in October 2007 from a solicitation in which BC Hydro called for: construction of civil works, including removal of some concrete, supply and placement of reinforced concrete for the generator, and embedding of turbine parts and related works; and the supply and installation of a steel penstock, connecting it to existing top and bottom penstock sections already on the dam’s face.

The targeted in-service date for the unit is October 2010.

In addition to bids for the Unit 5 work, BC Hydro asked for optional pricing for the civil works and penstock for the possible addition of a sixth turbine-generator at Revelstoke. However, Accenture Business Services for Utilities, a service provider to BC Hydro, declined to comment on prices submitted for a sixth unit.

Canadian Hydro awards equipment contracts

Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. awarded contracts to Mavel and Litostroj to supply equipment for three new hydro plants in British Columbia. The developer did not disclose the value of the contracts.

Mavel is supplying turbine and generator equipment for 9.9-MW Clemina Creek and 9.6-MW Serpentine Creek, both in the Thompson River Valley. Construction of the projects, each expected to cost C$22 million (US$21.9 million) to develop, is to begin in the spring of 2008, with completion two years later.

Litostroj is to supply turbine and generator equipment for 20-MW Bone Creek, also in the Thompson River Valley. The development schedule for C$46 million (US$45.7 million) Bone Creek is similar to Clemina Creek and Serpentine Creek.

The projects won power sales contracts in 2006 in response to a BC Hydro call for power. Bone Creek has a 20-year contract; Clemina Creek and Serpentine Creek have 40-year contracts. They are expected to generate 150,000 megawatt-hours annually.

Canadian Hydro is developing a number of other projects, including 5-MW English Creek, also in British Columbia. Construction of this C$10 million (US$9.9 million) project could start in summer 2008 and should be completed in 2009.

The company also is pursuing approvals for 20-MW Smooth Rock Falls, also known as Yellow Falls, in northern Ontario.

Alstom Hydro to equip Québec’s 125-MW La Sarcelle

Societe d’Energie de la Baie James, a unit of Canadian utility Hydro-Québec, awarded a contract to Alstom Hydro to equip 125-MW La Sarcelle, part of Hydro-Québec’s Eastmain 1A/Rupert Diversion hydroelectric complex in northern Québec.

Alstom Hydro, a joint venture of Alstom and Bouygues, received a C$130 million (US$129.3 million) contract to supply three bulb turbine-generators with governors and downstream gates. The plant is expected to begin operation in 2012.

The project involves construction of two powerhouses – La Sarcelle and 768-MW Eastmain 1A – and partial diversion of the Rupert River to the Eastmain 1 reservoir. Diverted water will be run through turbines at 480-MW Eastmain 1 and the Eastmain 1A powerhouse. It also will be directed through existing powerhouses in the La Grande complex: 5,328-MW Robert-Bourassa, 1,998-MW La Grande 2A, and 1,368-MW La Grande 1.

Funding complete for 196-MW East Toba-Montrose

Plutonic Power Corp. and GE Energy Financial Services announced they closed a C$470 million (US$467 million) senior secured credit facility for construction of the 196-MW East Toba River Montrose Creek hydroelectric project in British Columbia.

The closing with a syndicate of financial institutions complements C$190 million (US$188.9 million) in equity and other financial instruments and completes funding for construction of the C$660 million (US$656 million) project.

The project’s credit facilities were co-arranged by Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. and GE Capital Markets, a Canadian affiliate of GE Energy Financial, which led a syndicate of lenders to provide 38-year senior secured credit facilities with tenors corresponding to the three-year construction period and 35-year term of the project’s power sale agreement with BC Hydro. Other lenders were Sun Life Assurance Co., Canada Life Assurance Co., Allied Irish Banks plc, and Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

The project is under construction at sites about 190 kilometers northwest of Vancouver. Operation of the 123-MW East Toba River site is scheduled by mid-2010, and 73-MW Montrose Creek by late 2010. Once complete, the project annually could displace an estimated 455,000 tons of greenhouse gases, Plutonic said.

Andritz VA Tech Hydro in October 2007 announced it would supply electro-mechanical equipment to the project as part of a C$55 million (US$54.7 million) contract. Andritz VA Tech Hydro is to provide four Pelton turbine-generators, digital speed governors, spherical valves, and excitation for the project’s two powerhouses.

Project developer Plutonic Power Corp. and investor-partner GE Energy Financial Services previously signed a C$497 million (US$494 million) engineering-procurement-construction contract with Kiewit.

Magpie project: on-line report

The newly commissioned 40.6-MW Magpie generating station in Québec is expected to produce 180,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually for delivery to utility Hydro-Québec.

Work on the project began in September 2005; the station was fully commissioned in November 2007, owner Société en commandite Magpie said.

The new project, built at the site of a 2-MW powerhouse closed in 1989, cost about C$75 million (US$74.5 million) to develop.

The run-of-river site features a 7-meter natural fall, a variable-height concrete weir, and combined intake and powerhouse structure. To increase gross head to 22 meters, the developer added a 3.29-meter-diameter inflatable rubber dam to the top of the existing weir.

A 50-meter-long intake canal directs flow of 210 cubic meters per second to the intake. Water from the powerhouse is discharged into a 150-meter-long tailrace canal.

Equipment in the powerhouse includes three Kaplan-Saxo type turbines and generators, said to be among the largest of their type in Canada. Power generated is delivered to the Hydro-Québec grid via a 161-kilovolt substation.

Service and product suppliers involved include: Arno, Bridgestone, Cribtec, Genivar, Lajoie-Somec, Litostroj, Mecan-Hydro, and Siemens.

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