Letter: BC Hydro clarifies Revelstoke 6 river flow impact

BC Hydro responds to concerns about impact of adding sixth turbine to Revelstoke Dam on downstream ecosystems.

Crews install the fifth penstock at the Revelstoke Dam. Planning is underway to install the sixth and final turbine at the dam by 2021.

Editor,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide some further information on BC Hydro’s Revelstoke Dam operations and potential changes we expect may result from the addition of a sixth generating unit.

Revelstoke Generating Station is typically operated as a daily peaking plant, where the available water is used to maximize generation when load demand is high. Generation is reduced during light load hours to a minimum flow of 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). Maximum discharge from the facility through the five currently installed generating units is 75,000 cfs. However BC Hydro can release more water from the facility if needed for flood control by releasing additional water over the spillway.

With the additional capacity from a new sixth generating unit at Revelstoke dam, BC Hydro will use the existing water supply differently. At high demand periods with all six units operating for short periods of time, up to 24% more water (up to 93,000 cfs) could be released. However just like a car engine, generating units are less efficient when operated at full capacity so we expect to only be at full power output (and maximum generation discharge flow) less than one per cent of the time.

Because the amount of water available for power generation will remain the same, the addition of the sixth generating unit is expected to only change how the water is used on a day to day basis. BC Hydro has conducted detailed modelling work to understand how the operation of our Columbia facilities will change with six generating units at Revelstoke Dam.

When compared to the operation with five generating units, Revelstoke Dam with six generating units is expected to discharge higher flows between approximately 60,000 and 75,000 cubic feet per second somewhat more often (about 11 per cent of the time compared to about three per cent of the time currently). The facility is expected to discharge medium flows (between approximately 35,000 and 60,000 cfs) somewhat less often and low flows (less than 35,000 cfs) about the same. Flows are expected to be above 75,000 cfs occasionally, less than one per cent of the time.

The Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) is conducting an environmental review of the Revelstoke Unit 6 Project. As part of this process, BC Hydro will submit an application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate that assesses the incremental impacts of the sixth generating unit.

The application will include mitigation and monitoring measures to address project effects. Currently the EAO is soliciting public feedback on the draft Application Information Requirements, a key document for the review that outlines the specific information that must be included in BC Hydro’s application. The public comment period on this document ends June 20, 2016. The public will have another opportunity to provide feedback to the EAO after we submit our application.

Please feel free to get in touch with me at 250-814-6645 or Jennifer.walker-larsen@bchydro.com if you have any questions about the Revelstoke Unit 6 Project or BC Hydro’s Columbia operations or would like to join our mailing list for project updates.

Sincerely,

Jen Walker-Larsen

BC Hydro, Revelstoke

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File)
British Columbians want more parks, even if it means less mining and logging: survey

Scientists say 30 per cent of land and water in Canada should be protected

File photo
EDITORIAL: The power of a single vote

In the Oct. 24 British Columbia election, every vote is important

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Kelowna RCMP investigating unexplained death of cattle

Cattle found dead near gravel road, east of the Kelowna Airport

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Shuswap BC NDP candidate Sylvia Lindgren reports several campaign signs have recently been damaged or removed. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap candidate seeking those responsible for stolen, damaged signs

NDP and Green Party signs in the Sunnybrae area have been targetted

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, B.C., on October 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Liberal Leader maintains confidence as campaign tests party identity

Liberal campaign has been disrupted by controversy

Most Read