A CALGARY-BASED energy company has sold its Dasque-Middle Creek run of river hydro electric development just southwest of Terrace to another company also from Calgary.
The sale, announced last week by Veresen Inc. to Bluearth Renewables, is part of a series of agreements with several companies worth $1.8 billion in all on the part of Veresen to divest itself of its power generation division so it can concentrate on its larger business interests which are in natural gas liquids production and distribution.
The Dasque-Middle Creek development, rated at 20 megawatts, was one of three run of river facilities sold in B.C. by Veresen to Bluearth, a privately-held company.
Bluearth also bought three Veresen wind power developments in Ontario. A purchase price was not disclosed.
Dasque-Middle Creek got its start as a development project by a small Vancouver firm called Swift Power which was then purchased by Veresen.
The project came on full stream in early 2015 and its power is being sold to BC Hydro under a long term contract which concludes in 2053.
Construction, however, was marred early when local companies hired weren’t paid by outside main contractors. Another main contractor was brought in to complete the project.
The development is actually in two parts – 12 rated megawatts from generation facilities at Dasque Creek and 8 rated megawatts from generation facilities at Middle Creek.
Power is fed into the provincial grid by a transmission line running from the development to the nearby B.C. Hydro Skeena Substation.
Bluearth president Grant Arnold described the purchase of Dasque-Middle Creek – and the other Veresen projects – as a good fit.
“They’re very complementary to our other assets,” he said last week.
One of the attractions of Dasque/Middle Creek and the other two B.C. facilities is the long-term power sales contracts each has to B.C. Hydro, Arnold added.
The new B.C. facilities will help Bluearth position itself as an owner, operator and developer of long-term hydro, wind and solar projects, he said.
“The assets themselves are long-term, 40 or more years, and that was part of our decision making,” Arnold added.
Bluearth itself is nearly seven years old and is owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Canada’s largest pension plan for professionals with assets of more than $170 billion.
The Dasque/Middle Creek development comes with previously-negotiated impact benefits agreements with area First Nations, something that will continue, said Arnold.
“These are reflective of the rights First Nations have and we also have agreements with First Nations at other of our operations,” he said.
Dasque-Middle Creek is also providing revenues to three area First Nations, the Kitsumkalum, the Kitselas and the Lax Kw’alaams.
The money is from water rights royalties paid to the province, half of which goes into general revenue and half into its First Nations Clean Energy Fund and 75 per cent of that latter revenue is then divided up among affected First Nations based on traditional interests on the land on which a project is located.
How much each First Nation receives is based on a provincial formula taking in the population of a First Nation and its distance from a project.