A private hydro project capable of providing electricity to 7,300 home annually was powered up north of Harrison Hot Springs this week.
Energy Minister Bill Bennett and Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness, along with representatives from Innergex Renewable Energy Inc., BC Hydro, Douglas First Nation and Sts’ailes were at the 21.2-megawatt run-of-river hydroelectric facility on Thursday to mark the opening.
The Tretheway Creek Hydroelectric Project is located on Crown land on the northwest shore of Harrison Lake approximately 50 kilometres north of Harrison Hot Springs. It will produce 81 gigawatt-hours of renewable, emissions-free electricity annually – enough to power about 7,300 homes.
“The Tretheway Creek Hydroelectric Project is the kind of private-sector, renewable-energy project that is a big part of B.C.’s clean and diversified energy supply,” said Bennett. “These independent power projects supply about 25 per cent of BC Hydro’s electricity today – an increase from just four per cent in 2001.”
The Tretheway Creek project received an electricity purchase agreement from BC Hydro as part of the 2008 Clean Power Call.
The $100 million project is on the traditional territory of Douglas First Nation and Sts’ailes, with which the B.C. government reached revenue-sharing agreements in 2015. The agreements are the result of the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, which promotes First Nations’ participation in the clean-energy sector.
“This facility shows what can be achieved when First Nations, industry and government work together to develop clean-energy resources in First Nations’ traditional territories,” said Throness.
During the peak construction period there were more than 100 workers on-site. First Nations represented 15 per cent of employment for the construction of the project, and more than 40 per cent of employment for the construction camp and catering services.
Innergex Renewable Energy one of the largest private renewable power producers in Canada with run-of-river hydro facilities, wind farms and solar farms in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Idaho and France.
In B.C., Innergex has 18 run-of-river hydro projects, three of which are currently under construction.