BEAVER COVE—The Kokish River Hydroelectric Facility opened its doors to the public last Tuesday with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.
The facility, which was commissioned earlier this year, is owned and managed by Kwagis Power LP—a partnership between the ‘Namgis First Nation and Brookfield Renewable Power Corp.
The ceremony reflected this partnership. It opened with a blessing from hereditary ‘Namgis Chief Bill Cramner, and then featured speeches from Richard Legault, President and CEO of Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, and Debra Hanuse, the elected Chief of ‘Namgis First Nation.
“Without this partnership, I believe this project wouldn’t exist,” said Legault. “The Kwagis partnership was built on trust and also a sharing of values.”
“It’s quite fitting that we would have rain on our first day,” said Hanuse, referring to the importance of water as an energy source for the project.
She spoke about their goals—the most important being their goal as a nation to move towards financial independence and prosperity. The project also incorporated other goals, such as the protection and enhancement of the environment.
She emphasized the use of environmentally friendly innovations like fish ladders, which helped lead to the success of the project.
After the ceremony, audience members helped themselves to lunch and were able to speak with key members of the partnership about the future of the project and renewable energy.
The hydroelectric facility features four generating units with an installed capacity of 45 megawatts. It can generate enough energy to power more than 10,000 homes annually.
Both sides of the partnership expressed their hope that the facility will be here for generations to come.