A document prepared by Fortis Inc. that shows the site of a proposed dam on the Similkameen River about 15 kilometres from Princeton.

A document prepared by Fortis Inc. that shows the site of a proposed dam on the Similkameen River about 15 kilometres from Princeton.

Fortis pulls plug on Similkameen River dam

Project deemed "not financially viable" right now, but utility company may re-evaluate in the future

Fortis has pulled the plug on a proposed hydroelectric dam on the Similkameen River.

“Based on the results of the our latest engineering and economic studies, we determined the project is not financially viable at this time,” project manager Joseph Sukhnandan said in a press release issued Thursday.

The utility company “may re-evaluate the viability of the project in the future based on customer demand and market conditions,” the release noted.

In January, Fortis was granted a two-year investigative use permit to explore the feasibility of the dam on the Similkameen River near the Copper Mountain Mine site about 15 kilometres south of Princeton.

According to Fortis’s land tenure application, the dam would have been up to 200 metres tall, 477 metres long, and created a 750-hectare reservoir behind it to help it generate 45 to 65 megawatts of electricity.

Company officials said previously that electricity generation alone wouldn’t make the dam financially viable, so they’d also been in contact with groups downstream in the U.S. who would have benefited from “flow control” of the Similkameen River.