Canadian Spotlight

Alterra closes financing for Jimmie Creek project

A C$110 million (US$100.5 million) loan facility closed in September by Alterra Power Corp. will help finance the 62-MW Jimmie Creek plant in British Columbia.

Alterra said the loan facility, with affiliates of AMP Capital Investors Ltd. will mature in 2023 with no scheduled payments of principal prior to maturity. The loan facility has no equity or equity-related components. Loan pricing is about 8 percent per year based on current market rates.

The facility will be used to pay development and construction costs and sponsor equity contributions for Jimmie Creek, a wind farm in Texas and for other general corporate purposes.

Alterra and Fiera Axium Infrastructure Inc. announced a partnership agreement in April for ownership and construction of Jimmie Creek. The plant is part of the 124-MW Upper Toba hydroelectric project, along with the 62-MW Upper Toba plant.

Alterra was formed by the merger of Plutonic Power Corp. and Magma Energy in 2011. The company acquired full ownership of Jimmie Creek from General Electric in 2013. It is to sell power to BC Hydro under a 40-year contract.

Work continues at Keeyask construction site

Manitoba Hydro authorized modular builder Britco to begin the second phase of construction camp work at the 695-MW Keeyask project in Manitoba.

Britco was awarded a first phase of the project in 2012, at which time the company designed, built and installed 500 dormitory rooms, a gymnasium, a recreation center, water treatment facilities, a kitchen and dining areas at the site.

The second phase was approved in August and includes the design, manufacture, delivery and installation of an additional 1,500 modular dorm rooms with an addition to the kitchen and recreation facility, for a total of 387 modular units. The total value of the second phase is C$100 million (US$91 million).

Keeyask is located on the Lower Nelson River in northern Manitoba. The plant’s first generating unit is expected to go on line in 2019, with all seven units commissioned by 2020.

Innergex, In-SHUCK-ch Nation agree to develop six hydro plants

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. and the In-SHUCK-ch Nation have agreed to develop six run-of-river projects totaling 150 MW in British Columbia.

In-SHUCK-ch, which represents the Samahquam and Skatin nations, will develop the projects in a 50-50 partnership with Innergex on the nation’s traditional territories between Harrison and Lillooet lakes along Rogers, Snowcap, Gowan, Kakila, Tuwasus and Billygoat creeks.

In-SHUCK-ch signed a letter of understanding with the governments of Canada and British Columbia in April 2013 for the transfer of lands in the Rogers Creek Area, where the first project will be located. Other parcels intended for hydro development are yet to be transferred to the two nations.

The partners are in discussions with the province and BC Hydro to ensure the viability of the projects via long-term power purchase contracts with the utility.

Travelers arranges financing for Box Canyon project

Travelers Capital Corp. arranged C$61 million (US$56 million) in non-recourse project financing for construction of the 16-MW Box Canyon plant near Port Mellon, British Columbia. The company acted as loan and security agent, with funding coming from Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. and Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Co.

The plant is being developed by Elemental Energy Inc. subsidiary Box Canyon Hydro Corp., with Sound Energy Inc., on the western shore of Howe Sound. The land is Squamish Nation traditional territory, and the nation is acting as a partner in Box Canyon’s development.

Box Canyon was the final project awarded an electricity purchase agreement under BC Hydro’s Clean Power Call in 2010. All energy generated by the plant will be sold to the utility under a 40-year agreement.

Fortis shelves proposed Similkameen plant

British Columbia’s Similkameen project was tabled by developer Fortis Generation Similkameen LP after a recent feasibility study found the project, with a proposed capacity of 45 MW to 65 MW, to be financially unviable.

Fortis announced it was in the process of public and First Nations group consultations last year for the plant and a 165-meter-tall concrete dam that would have impounded the Similkameen River. Studies begun in 1990 showed such a complex could also potentially assist in flood reduction and improve water quality and summer flows in the Lower Similkameen.

The developer said it might re-evaluate the project in the future, based on customer demand and market conditions.

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