A Vancouver-based company has re-submitted proposals for 10 new independent power projects north of Revelstoke.
Syntaris Power, a private company that specialized in hydro power, has applied for investigative use licenses for three projects along the Wood River north of Mica and seven more between Revelstoke and Mica.
They includes plans for a power project along the lower Goldstream River, as well as Brewster and Old Camp Creeks, which are tributaries of the Goldstream. Other proposals are for Clemenceau Creek, a remote creek in the B.C. Rockies north of Golden; Granite Creek, which flows into the Downie Arm of Lake Revelstoke; the Upper and Lower Wood River, which is a tributary of Kinbasket Lake; and two in the area of Scrip Creek, on the western side of Lake Revelstoke not far south of Mica.
Two applications have not yet been placed on the Integrated Land Management Bureau’s website.
The proposals are not new but have been sitting dormant since they were first proposed by Atla Energy in 2008. Atla was recently purchased by Syntaris Power.
“We’re hoping there’s another call coming from BC Hydro,” said David Kiess, the vice-president of project development. “We’re maintaining these projects on the potential these price-points will make them viable.”
The proposals are still in the early stages, said Keiss. The investigative use plans set out basic outlines for the power projects and what exploratory work will be conducted before work proceeds. There are still a number of applications Syntaris needs to submit before it can proceed on any development.
If the investigative use plans are approved, Syntaris would then be allowed to go onto the land and conduct more detailed studies. Only after that would it be able to apply for land-use permits and water permits.
“There’s further approvals we have to get from this initial investigative license to do anything on the land,” said Kiess.
Syntaris is not the only company looking to develop power in the area. Selkirk Power Company has submitted proposals for a 13 megawatt IPP on the Upper Goldstream River; Mica Creek; and Stitt Creek and French Creek, which are tributaries of the Goldstream River.
Mike Watson, who tracks proposals for independent power projects around Revelstoke and opposes their development, noted the cluster-like aspect of many of them.
“It looks like a spider web effect where we build one so we can build another because they’re so close,” he said, comparing it to a proposal by another company along Cranberry Creek, next to the existing South Cranberry Creek IPP.
He noted that the Goldstream River is already a highly-industrialized area with lots of logging and power lines criss-crossing the area.
“In terms of minimizing impacts, it’s probably the best location,” he said, adding that the area does received a lot of recreational use from hunters and others.