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BC Hydro open house this Wednesday (June 20th 2012)

Organizer BC Hydro
Location Maritime Heritage Centre, Campbell River

Event Details

BC Hydro open house this Wednesday (June 20)
Campbell River Courier-Islander
Fri Jun 15 2012

BC Hydro is encouraging the public to learn more about their capital projects and the forecasted summer hydroelectric operations at an open house in Campbell River next Wednesday.

Running from 2 p.m. to 6: 30 p.m. at the Maritime Heritage Centre, the open house will focus on the $1 billion John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project process, the Heber River Diversion Decommissioning Project and hydroelectric operations in general.

Regarding the generating station replacement project, BC Hydro will provide the latest information on the BC Parks Boundary Adjustment, Environmental Assessment, and British Columbia Utilities Commission regulatory processes. They will also provide a project procurement process update.

A key part of the regulatory approval processes will be the ongoing consultation with First Nations, and engagement of government agencies and stakeholders. BC Hydro’s goal is to complete the regulatory processes by spring 2013 and award the construction contract in summer 2013. Project construction would then begin in summer 2013 should the project be approved.

The format is free, open to anyone, interactive, and will have some elements of interest that will appeal to everyone. More importantly it will be good to be informed on the latest developments and what’s planned.

“As an example, for John Hart, there is an update on issues like the road detour around the dam for about three years starting as early as late summer 2013, where through community feedback, BC Hydro is investigating a secondary detour route via Iron River Road along with the primary detour route being Highway 28 to Highway 19A and around that way,” said BC Hydro’s Stephen Watson. “There has been good momentum on the John Hart project the past few months with the regulatory and procurement process in full swing.”

The Heber Diversion is near Gold River and diverted water from the Heber River into the Upper Campbell Reservoir. This summer BC Hydro plans to remove the dam structure, a 3.6 km woodstave pipeline, and the pipeline outlet structure. The entire diversion facility footprint will then be remediated and restored to become part of the surrounding natural environment. The facility has been out of service since November 2006.

BC Hydro is removing the Heber River Diversion due to its poor condition and as a result of the Campbell River Water Use Plan (WUP).

The WUP Consultative Committee, made up of First Nations, government agencies, stakeholders and BC Hydro, came to a consensus agreement to remove the facility. The decommissioning of the Heber River facility will start around the end of this month and includes the removal of the dam and pipeline by this fall. People will be able to talk to staff about the facility and this will be helped by looking at pictures, diagrams and the high-level decommissioning concept.

BC Hydro will also provide an overview on how they consider water-use interests across the system, including how we are managing the high snow pack and snow melt. Forecasted Campbell River flows and reservoir levels will be provided. BC Hydro’s Campbell River system hydroelectric operations this year is currently dealing with high snow pack conditions and delayed snow melt from the cool weather. The snow pack for this time of year is about 142 per cent of normal.

“Come see how our engineer considers operational decisions at all three dams in how we store and release water for various water use interests – it’s not just about power generation,” said Watson.

BC Hydro has also invited the Noon Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce to participate in the community event. The Rotary Club of Campbell River is proposing a suspension bridge at Elk Falls, subject to BC Parks approval, and the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce has developed a Major Projects Web Portal so that business are aware and prepared for John Hart business opportunities. BC Hydro is very supportive of both community initiatives.

Contact Information

Name Stephen Watson
Phone 250 755 4795