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Canadian developers secure more small hydro

Calgary, Canada-based independent power producer Canadian Hydro Developers (CHD) has announced that it has won a concession from Alberta’s Department of Environmental Protection (AEP) to install a 12.5MW hydro power plant at the Taylor’s Coulee Chute near Magrath in Alberta, Canada.

Taylor’s Coulee Chute is part of the Jensen-Ridge irrigation canal system owned by AEP. The canal system has a full supply conveyance of around 91m3/sec, and at the Taylor’s Coulee Chute the canal undergoes a drop of nearly 37m. CHD proposes to use this head for the development of hydro power during the irrigation season, which is May-October each year.

Together with a 50% joint venture partner, Canadian Hydro proposes to proceed immediately with regulatory approvals and detailed design for a 12.5MW plant with the aim of beginning construction in 1999.

The proposed plant will be similar to CHD’s existing plant at the Belly River Chute, also operated under licence from AEP. Initial estimates are that the plant will cost C$12.5M and generate annual revenues of C$1.7M.

The first power sales into the Alberta grid are scheduled for the spring of 2000, when the irrigation season begins.

Recently, CHD completed agreements to acquire two small plants in Ontario, with a total capacity of 2.9MW, for C$5.9M. Both plants — Galetta, 1.4MW and Appleton, 1.5MW — are on the Missouri river southwest of Ottawa.

Ontario Hydro will buy the power from both plants under existing contracts. With these plants, Canadian Hydro now owns and operates eight run-of-river plants with a total capacity of 29MW in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.