New energy project in the Canyon

Tram built to transport workers and materials across Fraser River

Construction of a new $187 million hydroelectric project  is now underway  in the Fraser Canyon.

In one of his last official duties, Chilliwack-Hope MLA Barry Penner attended a celebration hosted by the Kanaka Bar Indian Band last Thursday marking the official start of the project.

“This is the biggest economic boost the Fraser Canyon has had in several decades,” said Penner.

“The band themselves have had this idea for over 20 years, but it’s taken until now to get everything approved and find the investor that could pull it off.”

The Kwoiek Creek hydroelectric project is being developed in partnership between the Kanaka Bar Indian Band and Innergex Renewable Energy.

Located on the west side of the Fraser Canyon, about 14 kilometers south of Lytton, it will be able to produce 50 megawatts of zero-emission, renewable electricity for BC Hydro – enough to power approximately 20,000 homes.

The run-of-the-river project will divert a portion of flow from Kwoiek Creek to a power station located on reserve lands.

Water will return back to the creek a short distance upstream of the Fraser River.

There will be no dam, as in conventional hydroelectric projects, and no significant storage of water above the intake. The Ministry of Environment requires that some flow (0.55 centimetres) be maintained within the bypassed section of the creek at all times to support fish and aquatic habitat.

“The first priority is to keep water in the creek,” said Penner.

“What that means is that during certain dry times of year, the project itself will have to be curtailed and won’t be able to operate at full capacity.”

Penner signed an environmental assessment certificate approving the project in 2009, which also passed a federal environmental assessment. It is expected to provide the province $670,000 per year in water rental fees and contribute another $600,000 annually in rural property taxes.

There are currently 51 people working on the construction phase, including 31 members of the Kanaka Bar Indian Band. More workers will be hired as the project progresses over the next two years. A new tram has been built across the Fraser River to transport materials and workers.

“It will save approximately 90 minutes of travel time each way and it will be a safer way than driving on those windy forest service road,” said Penner.

There’s already some interest in keeping the tram in place after construction is complete, but Penner said it will depend on who’s willing to pay for the maintenance.

Operation of the hydroelectric project is slated to begin in the summer of 2013.

More information on the project is available at www.kwoiekcreekhydro.com.

 

 

Just Posted

Q&A with the leaders of Hope’s new emergency shelter

The 20-bed shelter at 650 Old Hope Princeton Way is open 24 hours a day

Highest earning staff at Fraser-Cascade School District made public

Also board looks into seat belts on school buses, Marv Cope gets road in his memory

Oscar-winning producer J. Miles Dale on filming horror-thriller in Hope

In an exclusive interview, Dale explains why the town plays a large role in Antlers

Tarl rocks Silver Chalice Saturday

After spending summers in Hope visiting his grandmother, musician Tarl returns to… Continue reading

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Calgary city council votes to shut down bid for 2026 Winter Games

More than half of those who went to the polls voted ‘no’ to bidding for the games

Union offers support following B.C. mine death

Death of B.C. mine worker described as a wake up call for industry

Canadian Armed Forces to change approach to sexual assault investigations

New program aimed at a more open and transparent process, will consult with civilians, health and law professionals

‘N’ driver clocked going 51 km/hr over the speed limit

Port Moody police say the car was sent to the impound lot

Death of 38-year-old Fernie man at B.C. coal mine under investigation

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning

Breathing polluted air during pregnancy may increase odds of baby having autism: SFU study

Study looked at nearly all births in Metro Vancouver between 2004 and 2009

5 to start your day

B.C. cracks down on ‘dirty money,’ homicide detectives investigate Maple Ridge death and more

Most Read