Revelstoke Dam. (File)

Revelstoke Dam. (File)

Environmental review of Revelstoke Dam’s Unit 6 project suspended

Suspension to allow BC Hydro to work with Indigenous groups and refine mitigation measures

A request by BC Hydro to suspend the application review time limit on the environmental assessment of the Revelstoke Generating Station 6 Project has been approved by the Environmental Assessment Office.

The suspension was approved to allow BC Hydro to further discuss mitigation measures with Indigenous groups.

“After considering your request and reasons, I have decided to grant your request to suspend the review time limit for Revelstoke 6 effective today, October 30, 2017, on day 112 of the 180-day review period,” wrote Scott Bailey, assistant deputy minister.

The Prescribed Time Limit Regulations allows a time limit of 180 days for review of an application under the Environmental Assessment Act.

“Working closely with Indigenous groups to build better, more transparent and collaborative relationships is important to us,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Jen Walker-Larsen. “The short-term suspension will provide additional time that will help all parties develop a shared understanding of the Indigenous groups’ interests.”

The EAO is requiring that they receive “a table of the mitigation measures proposed by BC Hydro to address potential impacts to Aboriginal rights and title and Revelstoke 6; and a summary of the consultation between BC Hydro and Indigenous groups during the suspension period with respect to the mitigation measures that explains how the views of each Indigenous group have been considered.”

The Revelstoke Generating Station, located five kilometres upstream from the Revelstoke townsite on the Columbia River, was completed in 1984 and was initially designed to hold six generating units. Only four units were installed when it was first built. A fifth unit was added and began service in 2010.

RELATED: BC Hydro applies for environmental certificate for Revelstoke 6 turbine

According to a BC Hydro factsheet, the Revelstoke Generating Station currently produces, on average, approximately 7,817 gigawatt hours, which is about 15 per cent of the electricity that BC Hydro produces annually.

The sixth unit would add approximately 500 megawatts of capacity to BC Hydro’s system.

BC Hydro is predicting demand will increase 40 per cent over the next 20 years. It expects the Revelstoke Unit 6 will be needed in 2026 to cover a deficit that will take place when maintenance work on four units at Mica Dam begins, keeping them offline for between 12 and 18 months.

BC Hydro says it is pursuing regulatory approvals so the Revelstoke Unit 6 could be in service in 2021.

As part of the Environmental Assessment Office’s process, the City of Revelstoke submitted a list of concerns about the project in August this year.

Among them were concerns about housing for construction workers, extra policing and riverbank erosion.

RELATED: City lists concern about Revelstoke Dam

BC Hydro believes that construction for the project would take just over three years. It says that the work involved for the sixth unit would be similar to the fifth.

Among the expected changes to operations are higher Columbia River flows downstream of the dam during peak generation times.

Currently, BC Hydro says the dam is used as a “daily peaking plant, where the available water is used to maximize generation when load demand is high.”

During light load hours, the minimum flow is 5,000 cubic feet per second.

The sixth unit would allow BC Hydro to use the water differently, releasing up to 20 per cent more water with all six units operating for short periods of time during high-demand times.

The current water licence for Revelstoke Dam allows for a diversion limit of 90,000 cfs.

With advances in technology, the dam has the potential for increased output. BC Hydro is applying for an additional water licence of 3,000 cfs. If the licence is granted, the maximum facility discharge with all six units would be 93,000 cfs.

Revelstoke Reservoir would be minimally affected by the sixth turbine, says BC Hydro.

“Operation of the sixth generating unit would be expected to only cause small changes to the timing and amount of water level fluctuation within the current 1.5 metre operating range under normal conditions,” says BC Hydro. “BC Hydro would continue to occasionally operate Revelstoke reservoir at a lower minimum level during cold weather or unusual system conditions.

“All reservoir elevations and facility discharges elsewhere in the Columbia River system would be expected to stay within their current normal operating ranges.”

BC Hydro is also planning to build a new capacitor station west of the Summerland area.


 

@marissatiel
marissa.tiel@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

(Jennifer Smith/Black Press file photo)
Poll: Should Penticton hold Canada Day celebrations this year?

The spotlight on residential schools has caused the rethinking of Canada Day

(Facebook)
New trial date set in Penticton for Thomas Kruger-Allen’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Scales of Justice
Acquittal in Okanagan crash that killed vacationing dentist

Daerio Romeo, 29, was charged with dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Penticton to get outdoor ice rink this winter

It’s hoped the rink will be ready to host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
POLL: Low-key Canada Day in the works for Vernon

Councillor calling for Indigenous recognition for 2022

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

A provided photo of the suspect. (Kelowna RCMP/Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP investigating after business robbed

An undisclosed amount of money and merchandise were taken from the business

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Most Read