Water Project proposed for Goat Island

waterpower goat island map

An application has been submitted for a water project on Goat Island that includes a power line extending from Goat Island across Powell Lake and down the east side of Haslam Lake, located within the Community Watershed.

The power line would continue across the Powell River Community Forest through Washout Creek, Sweetwater Creek, Blackwater Creek and Suicide Creek before going over to Lois Lake and across the Jefferd Creek Community Watershed and on towards Thunderbay, east of Scotch Fir Point. The application by 1026488 BC Ltd., was submitted to the Ministry of Lands, Forests and Natural Resources in October.

On November 3rd, 2015 the Powell River Regional District received a referral from the Province pertaining to the application for a Crown Licence, made by 1026488 BC Ltd.  The application is for Waterpower Investigative Phase purposes and is for a term of up to five years.

The area under proposal is a vast area of 4,654 hectares, that extends across portions of PRRD Electoral Areas A and C. However, the power generating element is proposed to be located on Goat Island within Powell Lake using waters from Frogpond Lake and travelling to Clover Lake.

If a pumped storage project results from the work done in the investigative phase, the anticipated maximum power outage will be 2000 megawatts and have two dams, two reservoirs, a powerhouse, an intake, penstocks and transmission lines.

The Powell River Regional District made the following recommendations at their November 17th, Planning Committee meeting:

REQUEST FOR DECISION: Crown Licence, Waterpower Investigative Phase, Area A & C Recommendation:
THAT the Committee recommend the Board advise Front Counter BC that the Powell River Regional District has no objection to a 5 year Crown Land Licence for Waterpower Investigative Phase purposes being issued to 1026488 BC Ltd. over an 4,654 hectare area located over areas in Electoral Areas A and C subject to:
1. The applicant undertaking a detailed analysis to determine the project footprint (including proposed dams, reservoirs, powerhouse, intake structure, penstocks, transmission lines, road construction, staging areas for spoil) and its impact on water quality, wildlife, fish, forests, recreation, other tenure holders, slope/geotechnical stability, as well as any other impacts that could adversely affect the Haslam Lang community Watershed through which the transmission line is proposed; and,
2. The Powell River Regional District receiving a second referral and opportunity to make further recommendations if this project moves beyond an investigative phase.

As this is a provincial referral all public consultation and stakeholder engagement is the responsibility of the Province.

For complete information, and to view all seven maps concerning the proposed Waterpower Investigative Phase, visit powellriverregionaldistrict.civicweb.net

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6 Responses to Water Project proposed for Goat Island

  1. Scott says:

    Pumped Storage Hydro (PSH) does not operate like conventional hydroelectric generation. When generation is available and load is less (and cheaper) the PSH pumps water to the upper reservoir. When the load comes up during the day the water is released through the PSH turbine generators. Frogpond Lake with the adjoining lake could facilitate 2000 MW. It would work out to approximately 500 cubic metres per second of water flow.

    This is a sizable facility, however the other feature of PSH is the pump-turbines are installed underground so the pumps have sufficient water head. You won’t really see the PSH facility (not much anyway), but the substation will be typical grade installation.

    BC Hydro faces transmission congestion issues during daily peak times in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. The PSH alleviates transmission congestion by “time shifting” the energy. PSH is the less expensive alternative to building more generation capacity. It optimizes existing generation plant.

    Only one little sticky wicket with this proposed PSH. Ok, you get 2000 MW to Malaspina 500 kV substation near Pender Harbour – then what? 500 kV lines are typically rated for 1500 MW. The math isn’t adding up. What is the rest of the transmission upgrade/expansion plan?

    For the record, I am not a member of the company proposing this PSH and transmission line. I am part of the owners’ group for a proposed PSH in another part of the country.

  2. Claudia Medina says:

    Just looking at this with my father, an electrician, who also echoed Bob’s flag about the megawatt number being massive. He knows those two lakes well and there is absolutely no way in his opinion that water generation could produce anything even vaguely close to 2000 megawatts. Maybe one or two megawatts at best, for a limited time (read months or a couple of years) before the lakes are emptied. So, my question, is this – did the applicant claim to be planning to generate 2000 megawatts when they sought approval from the Regional District Board?
    (also, for some perspective – the dams that generate power from the mill is approx 60 megawatts including Lois Lake, huge watersheds in comparison to the tiny lakes on goat island)

  3. Bob Perry says:

    I cannot believe that a complex transmission line like that can be profitable when the output of hydro will be so small. The most recent article that I read on the proposal states that the output will be 2000 Mw. That is ridiculous. That is the approx output of the Grande Coulee Dam. Something is not right.

  4. Thanks, I’ll see what I can do.

  5. Ken McLeod says:

    Link at end of article (to maps) is broken. (Dec 11)

  6. Maureen Parsons says:

    Does this mean they are going to block access to the head of Haslem Lake as they blocked to access to Triple Peaks on Goat 2 logging road? Does this mean our hydro prices will go up because someone has to pay for the project?

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