An international power company has reached an agreement with a local First Nations group to develop a run-of-river power plant on Fosthall Creek South of Revelstoke.
Sorgent.e Hydro Canada and the Splatsin First Nation, which is based near Enderby, B.C., announced the signing of an Impact Benefit Agreement last month.
“In order to move away from government funding and to bring prosperity to our people, our vision is building long-term partnerships as the one we are signing today,” said Chief Wayne Christian in a news release. “It is an honour to work with (Sorgent.e) to build the local economy.”
The agreement will see Sorgent.e develop a 15 megawatt hydro plant on Fosthall Creek, which is located about 75 kilometres south of Revelstoke on the west side of Upper Arrow Lake.
The project would divert water from the creek, through the generating station and then back into the creek.
It was first proposed in 2001 by Darcy Fear, who started Fosthall Creek Power Ltd. to develop the hydro plant. In 2013, Fear and his business partner Harold Kalke opted to partner with Sorgent.e on the project.
“We are an international group that loves to become local where it works,” said Lucas de Haro, the Chief Executive Officer of Sorgent.e Hydro Canada, in a news release.
“We are happy to be welcomed in your territory, where we want to stay with you for decades to come.”
The power plant will be connected to the BC Hydro grid via the Pingston Creek substation. The proponents said the project will also include a spawning channel.
Michael Watson, a local anti-IPP activist, applauded the fact First Nations were consulted, but said the project is bigger than expected and would lead to increased costs for taxpayers to pay for infrastructure upgrades.
He said the project would “drastically alter” two kilometres of the lower section of Fosthall Creek.