Green power projects honoured

Two renewable energy projects on North Vancouver Island were winners last week in the annual Clean Energy BC awards.

Two renewable energy projects on North Vancouver Island were winners last week in the annual Clean Energy BC awards.

The Project Excellence Award was presented to the Cape Scott Wind Farm, developed by C2C Power LP, a partnership of GDF SUEZ Canada Inc., Mitsui & Co. Ltd., and Fiera Axium Infrastructure, 40 km west of Port Hardy. When in full operation, this $300-million project will put into the BC Hydro network enough power to serve 26,000 typical BC homes.

Clean Energy BC presented the Finance Award to Kwagis Power LP of Vancouver. Ian R. Kerr, senior vice-president of project development for Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, based in Quebec, helped Kwagis Power and the ‘Namgis First Nation fund the Kokish River run-of-river hydro project, which is under construction 15 km east of Port McNeill. Set to go into operation next spring, it will generate enough energy to supply 13,000 homes.

“The ‘Namgis demonstrated throughout the projects evolution that they will never compromise in their role as stewards of the land, and this has driven the partnership to design and construct the project to the highest environmental standards,” said Kerr.

Clean Energy BC is the industry trade association representing and advocating for clean-energy project developers and associated commercial and technical supply chains.

Other winners in its annual awards include:

• Environmental Stewardship and Community Improvement Award to the Sechelt Creek Generating Station, another run-of-river project;

• Community of the Year to the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, based at Tofino;

• Lifetime Achievement Award to John Johnson of West Vancouver, CEO of Clean Balance Power;

• Lifetime Achievement Award to Chris Ball of Toronto, executive vice-president of Toronto-based Corpfinance International Limited; and

• Merit Award to Caroline Findlay of Vancouver, a lawyer with BC Hydro legal services and a former board member of CEBC.

Cape Scott Wind Farm’s 55 wind turbines (each 75 metres tall) are on Crown land that is the ancestral home of the Quatsino, Tlatlasikwala and Kwakiutl First Nations. The project has an impact benefit agreement with the three First Nations communities. GDF SUEZ Canada and AMEC Black & McDonald (engineers and contractors) worked closely with the three.

Special precautions had to be taken to protect fish, wildlife and the natural ecology. A full-time team of environmental specialists monitored the upgrading of 18 km of existing logging roads, 35 km of new roads, 24 bridges and more than 560 culverts.The site has consistent winds for the 55 big turbines, but it has been a challenging project for development and construction. It’s in a remote, mountainous wilderness location—and gets annual rainfall of four metres and thick fogs. Another challenge was to build a 44-km transmission line over mountainous and forested terrain to BC Hydro’s Port Hardy substation.