Second AltaGas hydro project receives green light

McLymont Creek will cost $217 million and take three years to build

  • Jun. 9, 2012 9:00 a.m.

CALGARY-BASED AltaGas has received environmental approval for a second run of river project north of here.

The company, which is already building a $700 million Forrest Kerr run of river project on the Iskut River, will now proceed with a $217 million project at nearby McLymont Creek.

Environmental approval was announced today by the provincial government following a review by the provincial environmental assessment office.

McLymont Creek will produce up to 70 megawatts of electricity and it will be sold to BC Hydro.

Terms of the sale have not been released.

According to information provided by the provincial government today, the project will take three years to build, generating the equivalent of 100 to 120 full and part time jobs.

When finished, the project will provide two to four full time positions.

The province says local and provincial taxes generated over the 40-year lifespan of the project will be approximately $140 million.

Electricity from McLymont and Forrest Kerr will flow via a transmission line into the Northwest Transmission Line now under construction.

AltaGas is pursuing approval for a third project in the area, Volcano Creek, which would push its northwest spending to approximately $1 billion. Compared to Forrest Kerr’s 195 megawatts and McLymont’s 70, Volcan Creek is much smaller at 16 megawatts.

McLymont Creek and Volcano Creek are within the traditional territory of the Tahltan and its governing body, the Tahltan Central Council, has already negotiated a benefits agreement providing jobs, business contracts, cash, revenue sharing, profit sharing and an ownership stake.

The Tahltan Nation participated in the environmental assessment and the proponent continues to directly consult and involve the Tahltan Nation in the project. The province is satisfied that the Crown’s duties to consult and accommodate First Nations’ interests have been discharged as they relate to the decision to grant the [environmental assessment] certificate,” the province stated in a release.

Work includes 9.5 kilometres of new main access road to the main powerhouse, 6.2 kilometres of new access road from the powerhouse to the intake on McLymont Creek, a 10-kilometre, 69-kilovolt transmission line from the Forrest Kerr project to McLymont as well as other components located on McLymont Creek.

McLymont is scheduled for a late 2015 completion while Forrest Kerr is to be finished by mid-2014. That’s when the Northwest Transmission Line is to be finished as well.