Canadian News

OWA, Chiefs of Ontario sign collaboration agreement

The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) and the Chiefs of Ontario reached agreement on a “letter of intent” to provide a framework for communication and collaboration.

A formal signing ceremony for the agreement between The Chiefs of Ontario and OWA took place at the tenth anniversary “Power of Water” Conference in Toronto.

The Chiefs of Ontario, comprising the 133 First Nations in Ontario, is a political forum and secretariat for collective decision-making, action and advocacy.

Over the last five years, OWA has worked with Aboriginal communities and government agencies 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.

In 2008, the Chiefs of Ontario published First Nations Water Declaration in Ontario, outlining the fundamental importance of water to First Nations peoples and the shared responsibility for wise stewardship to future generations.

The Ontario Waterpower Association was formed in May 2001 and represents more than 95 percent of Ontario waterpower producers.

BC Hydro extends project management contract with MWH

MWH has signed a one-year extension with BC Hydro as part of a project management services partnership contract.

MWH will continue as part of an integrated BC Hydro and MWH team to provide project leadership, design management expertise and project office support during the implementation of three of BC Hydro’s major capital improvement projects at hydropower facilities.

The hydro facilities include: John Hark generating station, Ruskin Generating Station and Mica Units 5 and 6 on the Upper Columbia.

The contract between MWH and BC Hydro includes three phases of programmatic delivery engagement spanning three years: planning, establishment and implementation. The contract extension is part of the implementation phase and will cover activities through June 30, 2011.

“MWH is thrilled at the opportunity to continue working to improve the delivery of BC Hydro’s capital improvement projects,” said Bruce Howard, president of MWH Business Solutions Group, the strategic consulting arm of MWH. “We look forward to growing this collaborative team and participating in the ongoing enhancements and knowledge sharing practices that enable employees of BC Hydro and MWH to work together to successfully deliver projects.”

MWH is currently supporting BC Hydro by fulfilling key roles to implement a new project investment system for capital improvement projects.

Plans to build hydropower project shelved

TransCanada Corp and Atco Ltd shelved plans to build a C$5 billion (US$4.85 billion) hydro project on the Slave River in Alberta, Canada, after a local native group refused to back the project.

The planned run-of-river hydro project would have generated 1,200 to 1,300 MW.

The project, first proposed two years ago, was still being studied but the partners could not win the support of regional aboriginal groups.

Atco and TransCanada will not be advancing any further studies on the Slave River, as Smith Landing First Nation determined that their vision for the Slave River is not compatible with large-scale hydroelectric power development, according to TransCanada.

TransCanada is the country’s largest pipeline company and owns generating plants in Canada and the U.S. It is a partner in Bruce Power LP, which operates the Bruce nuclear facility in Ontario, which supplies a fifth of the province’s electricity.

Quebec, New England plan hydropower transmission project

A major hydropower transmission project was announced for New Hampshire, designed to bring 1,200 MW of hydroelectric power from Canada.

The city of Franklin, N.H., will be the site of a new converter station for a 140-mile transmission line that will transport renewable power from hydropower plants operated by Hydro-Quebec..

Construction is expected to create an annual average of 300 to 380 jobs in Franklin over three years, media reports indicate.

Gov. John Lynch said state residents will have the chance to help construct the line and convertor station for a total of about 1,200 jobs during development.

The project was the result of an agreement among Northeast Utilities – the parent company of Public Service of New Hampshire – NSTAR, and a subsidiary of Hydro-Quebec.

Construction is expected to begin in 2013.

AXYS Technologies named BC Export Award finalist

AXYS Technologies Inc. was selected as a finalist for a 2010 BC Export Award in the category of Advancing Technologies.

AXYS Technologies, Inc. designs, manufactures, distributes and maintains remote environmental data acquisition, processing and telemetry systems.

The Advancing Technologies Award recognizes a company that has effectively harnessed the powers of intellectual property and value-added know-how. The BC Export Award celebrates excellence in British Columbia’s export industry, the second largest contributor to the province’s economy. AXYS has experienced year-to-year percentage growth in value of export sales and increased sales volume over the past year.

Fortis concludes agreements for Waneta expansion

Fortis Inc., in partnership with Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Trust, has concluded definitive agreements to construct the 335-MW expansion of the Waneta hydroelectric generating facility at an estimated cost of C$900 million.

The project is sited near the Waneta Dam and powerhouse facilities on the Pend d’Oreille River, south of Trail, British Columbia. Fortis owns a 51 percent interest in the Waneta Expansion and will operate and maintain the non-regulated investment when the facility comes into service, which is expected in spring 2015.

Construction is expected to start this fall. SNC-Lavalin will be the contractor for the project.

Fortis Inc. is the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. The corporation serves approximately 2,100,000 customers. (For more details, see the cover story on pg. 8).

TransAlta named to Dow Jones sustainability index

TransAlta was named to the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for the fifth straight year. The company is one of 24 Canadian companies named to the index and the only Canadian company representing the utilities sector.

“Despite difficult economic conditions our industry is facing, TransAlta maintained its commitment to sustainable development,” said Steve Snyder, president and chief executive officer of TransAlta. “We continue to grow our renewable generation capacity and invest in technologies to reduce our emissions. We are proud to see these efforts recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America.”

This past year, TransAlta demonstrated its commitment and leadership to sustainable operations through a series of developments including: decommissioning its oldest fossil fuel facility; investing in remediation and reclamation work to modernize its coal facilities; expanding its existing wind and hydro fleets with the acquisition of Canadian Hydro; partnering with governments of Alberta and Canada to build one of the world’s first fully integrated carbon capture and storage facility.

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