Three new hydroelectric projects are being pursued for the North Island by Synex Energy Resources Ltd.
At the board of directors meeting Nov. 15, Regional District of Mount Waddington Manager of Planning and Development Services Jeff Long reported on the status of the Newcastle Creek Hydro Project located about 18 kilometres west of the Village of Sayward. The project has a proposed capacity of 4.4 megawatts.
“It’s a mini-Kokish,” said Long. (The Kokish River hydroelectric facility is owned and operated by Kwagis Power, a partnership between Brookfield Renewable and the ‘Namgis First Nation. Commissioned in 2014, Kokish has a capacity of 45 megawatts, enough energy to power 13,000 homes annually.)
“It’s going to be reasonably significant from an assessment point of view,” said RDMW Administrator Greg Fletcher.
“Everybody’s regional district property taxes will go down by a certain amount. It will have some benefit to all regional district taxpayers,” said Fletcher. “The run-of the rivers are actually noticeable.”
According to Long’s report, Synex began working on this project in 2008, when the Vancouver-based company applied for an investigative licence to explore the feasibility of developing a runofriver project.
Both a water licence and land tenure have been issued by the Province of British Columbia.
Long determined that the proposal does not conflict with the RDMW’s policies and regulations and that it should move forward to development, as long as it complies with regulations under the RDMW’s zoning bylaw.
After several years of investigation, Synex is now applying for a Crown land tenure to develop the project which is expected to produce 4.4 megawatts of electricity based on a flow of 3.8 cubic metres per second.
According to Long’s report, the project would include an intake, 2,800-metre penstock, a wind turbine powerhouse and 25 kilometres of electrical transmission line.
About 1.2 kilometres of permanent access road would also be developed from Highway 19.
Synex is also working on a Victoria Lake Hydro Project, located seven kilometres southeast of Port Alice. This proposed project would provide 10 megawatts of power.
A third McKelvie Creek Hydro Project, located near Tahsis, would provide five megawatts of run-of-river power. Both a water licence and land tenure have been issued from the Province of British Columbia for this project.
According to their website, Synex International Inc. is a public company that has been trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange since 1987.
The company has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Synex Energy Resources Ltd and Sigma Engineering Ltd.
These businesses respectively cover the development, ownership and operation of electric power facilities and the provision of consulting engineering and environmental services in water resources, particularly hydroelectric facilities.
Synex is an independent power producer which owns 12 megawatts of hydroelectric capacity in British Columbia, primarily on Vancouver Island.
The company has applications for water licences and land tenure on over 55 potential hydroelectric sites which are in various stages of development.
Mostly, the water licence applications are for projects with individual capacities of less than 10 megawatts.
BC Hydro, under the current Standing Offer Program, accepts applications for electricity purchase agreements for up to 40 years for projects with a maximum size of 15 megawatts. BC Hydro has a goal of acquiring 150 gigawatt hours per year.