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Winter 2014 Economic Update

Winter 2014 Economic Update

Accepting nature’s gifts is nothing new to Huu-ay-aht citizens, but this year the Huu-ay-aht group of businesses plans to take that one step further. Working with The Barkley Project Group Ltd., a consulting firm specializing in small hydropower projects, the Huu- ay-aht group of businesses plans to complete designs for a hydropower project that will harness nature’s energy on the Sarita River.

The project, which has been in the works for several years, will eventually see a weir, powerhouse, and penstock installed downstream of Sarita Lake and approximately five kilometres upstream of Numukamis Bay. Unlike traditional hydro projects, which often rely on storing large amounts of water, this “run-of-river” project uses the natural elevation and flow of the stream to create power.

“The Sarita River hydropower project is a ‘low head, high volume’ hydropower project,” says Brian Hanson, Senior Project Manager for The Barkley Project Group. Low head refers to the height of falling water that will power the turbine. High volume refers to the amount of water making the drop.

Although relatively small when compared with other run-of-river projects in the province, the Sarita River hydropower project has a large catchment area (91 km2) blessed with abundant rainfall and winter storms. Project partners expect this combination to produce winter power that will fetch a premium price from BC Hydro.

Read the full winter update.

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