Three run-of-river hydroelectric facilities in British Columbia (B.C.) are moving forward, following a conditional Environmental Assessment Certificate to Creek Power Inc. for the $420-million project.
The three facilities will be developed as a single hydroelectric project with a combined capacity of 121 megawatts, provincial officials announced January 10, 2013. The project includes a 72-kilometre-long, 230-kilovolt transmission line connecting the three facilities to BC Hydro's transmission line near Rutherford Creek.
The project lies on the headwaters of the Upper Lillooet River, 60 kilometres northwest of Pemberton, B.C.
B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office ruled that the Upper Lillooet Hydro Project is not expected to cause significant adverse effects to the environment. However, the office issued 37 conditions (and numerous sub-conditions) for the project, most of which seek to protect animals and the environment that surround the hydroelectric project.
Project officials estimate the operating costs of the Upper Lillooet Hydro Project will be approximately $8.4 million per year. The project is expected to create an estimated 382 person-years of direct employment during construction.
BC Hydro awarded the project three electricity purchase agreements in March of 2010. Under the agreements, the commercial operational date is slated for August 2015 for Boulder Creek, May 2016 for North Creek and June 2016 for Upper Lillooet River.