Innergex pursues British Columbia wind project of up to 210 MW

A subsidiary of Innergex Renewable Energy Inc., called Innergex Wind Energy Inc., is proposing to develop the Nulki Hills Wind Project, located in the Nulki Hills south of Vanderhoof, British Columbia.

The company in November filed a project pre-application with the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office, triggering a pre-application process that officially began on Nov. 26. The pre-application process is where issues are identified that will be covered in an eventual environmental assessment on the project.

The proposed project will consist of up to 70 wind turbines and have a nameplate capacity ranging from 105 MW to 210 MW. Innergex is proposing to develop the Nulki Hills facility 30 kilometers south of Vanderhoof, BC.

“The project is in the early stages of development and it is expected that the size and footprint of the proposed project will be refined in consideration of environmental, technical, and consultation input received during the development phase,” said the pre-application. “Innergex is preparing this project for submission to a BC Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro) Clean Power Call, the BC Hydro Standing Offer Program and/or other future renewable energy acquisition process.”

Innergex Renewable Energy is a leading Canadian independent renewable power producer. Active since 1990, Innergex  said it develops, owns, and operates run-of-river hydroelectric facilities, wind farms, and solar photovoltaic farms and carries out its operations in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, and Idaho in the U.S. Its portfolio of assets consists of:

  • interests in 28 operating facilities with an aggregate net installed capacity of 534 MW (gross 920 MW), including 22 hydroelectric operating facilities, five wind farms (located on the Gaspé peninsula in Quebec), and one solar photovoltaic farm;
  • interests in nine projects under development or under construction with a total net installed capacity of 231 MW (gross 374 MW), for which power purchase agreements have been secured; and
  • prospective projects with an aggregate net capacity totaling 2,904 MW (gross 3,127 MW).

Innergex has initiated technical studies to advance the preliminary Nulki Hills project design, which could consist of up to about 70 wind turbine generators, each with an installed capacity of approximately 1.5 to 3 MW. The Nulki Hills “wind park area” (i.e., where the wind turbines will be located, excluding the transmission line and distribution line) is approximately 4,993 hectares. Depending on the occurrence and schedule of future renewable energy acquisition processes, the area being assessed as part of the project could be developed in phases:

  • Phase 1 – includes the construction of a facility with a capacity of about 15 MW (the maximum size eligible under a power sale for smaller projects), with about 5 to 10 turbines, interconnecting via a new low voltage 25 kV distribution line to an existing BC Hydro 25 kV line located about 11 kilometers northeast.
  • Phase 2 – includes the construction of an additional facility that would bring the total number of turbines installed up to a maximum of about 70, and the total installed capacity of the project area would range from 105 MW to 210 MW. This facility would interconnect via a new 230 kV transmission line to an existing BC Hydro 230 kV line located about 38 kilometers north. If a power purchase agreement is secured for Phase 2 before Phase 1 commences, the 25 kV distribution line would not be required.

Given that this project may be undertaken in phases and is currently at an early conceptual stage, there is some uncertainty about capital cost, the company noted. At this time, Innergex estimates the capital cost to range from C$45m (for Phase 1) to over C$500m (for Phase 2).

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.