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

Yale man arrested after fleeing police in downtown Hope

Man arrested on three outstanding warrants after being caught in stolen van

Tractor exhaust pipe causes fire on Agassiz field

Agassiz fire crews were on scene around 1 p.m. Tuesday

Waterworks situation on table at Hope District meeting

Council to make decision on 753 Waterworks transfer tonight

Still no decision on cannabis stores in Kent following public hearing

Staff will be bringing the bylaws back to council to include new amendments for location

Rail group to bring plan to Abbotsford council

Group is calling for plans to run trains on rail line between Chilliwack and Surrey

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Most Read