The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office said Aug. 21 that it has formally accepted an application from Narrows Inlet Hydro Holding Corp. for an environmental assessment certificate for the proposed Narrows Inlet Hydro Project, which starts the application review process.
The Narrows Inlet project (formerly known as Stl’ixwim Renewable Energy) is located in the Sechelt area and will provide electricity under BC Hydro’s 2008 Clean Power Call. The power will be generated from five interrelated components on four creeks that are located within a radius of 5‐8 kilometers, centered at the confluence of Tzoonie River and Tyson Creek.
The five hydroelectric projects will have an overall nameplate generating capacity of approximately 44 MW at peak water flow times. An earlier design of the proposed project incorporated a sixth hydroelectric component, known as the MM Creek component, the application noted. Upon review, the decision was made to remove MM Creek, as it mitigated the potential impact to fish and fish habitat.
Power from the project will be transmitted via a single wooden pole 138 kV transmission line to Sechelt Inlet and where it will interconnect with a BC Hydro powerline on the Sechelt Peninsula. The project will mainly use the existing TCHP transmission line constructed in 2009 for most of the route. The new sections of transmission line consist of 15.2 kilometers of 25 kV feeder line from the individual hydroelectric components, an underground segment of 0.2 kilometer long on the east bank of Sechelt Inlet, an underwater component of 2.0 kilometers long accomplishing a marine crossing of the Sechelt Inlet, and an overhead segment of 7.4 kilometers long interconnecting to the BC Hydro line. The power will flow into BC Hydro’s Malaspina Substation and be used by BC Hydro customers on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland of BC.
BC Hydro is the sole buyer of the generated power. The Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA) entered into with BC Hydro prohibits the proponent to sell the power from this project to another entity or to export the power. Furthermore, BC Hydro receives 100% of the green credits produced by this project.
The proponent for this application is Narrows Inlet Hydro Holding (NIHHC), which is a joint undertaking by Renewable Power Corp. (RPC) and Altaqua Renewable Power Corp. (ARPC).
RPC is a development, engineering, and construction firm specializing in small run‐of‐river projects and related structures such as transmission lines and substations. RPC developed and constructed the McCannel Lake Hydroelectric Project (also known as the Malibu Hydro Project) on Jervis Inlet in June 2005. RPC recently constructed the Tyson Creek Hydroelectric Project (TCHP), which is a 9.3 MW, 48 GWh lake storage hydroelectric project on Tyson Creek, a tributary of Tzoonie River in the Sechelt area, under the BC Hydro 2006 Open Call for Power.
ARPC specializes in the development, engineering, and construction of run‐of‐the‐river sustainable energy projects. ARPC has advanced financing to NIHHC and additionally provides development and engineering services to the five Narrows Inlet projects under development in the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD).
NIHHC also has a number of minority shareholders including Pacific Northern Gas. In total the minority shareholders own less than 10% of the company.