Creating a Future As Rich as Our Past.

Sarita Water Licence Granted

powerhouse 14 10 01On June 4, the HFN group of businesses received some good news when the provincial government granted a conditional water licence for the Sarita Clean Energy Project. The licence permits the HFN group (through the Huu-ay-aht Nisma Land Corporation) to divert and use water on the Sarita River for generating hydropower over the next forty years.

 

The government attached a number of conditions to the water licence, which is usually the case in such a licence. These conditions include everything from setting limits on the maximum amount of water to be diverted, to hiring environmental monitors who will measure and safeguard the project’s impact.

In the works since 2011, the project was unable to move ahead until the water licence was granted. “From a project development perspective, it’s a major milestone,” says Yuho Okada, Energy Project Specialist with the Barkley Project Group Ltd. “There is now much more certainty in terms of permitting.”

Before granting the water licence, the Province of BC and the federal fisheries department reviewed a comprehensive development plan prepared by the Barkley Project Group. This plan included assessments of environmental, geotechnical, archaeological and cultural impacts. It also included transmission line engineering and other aspects of project design.

On April 23, Fisheries and Oceans Canada issued a “Letter of Advice” stating that “DFO is of the view that serious harm to fish can be avoided,” approving the project’s proposed environmental mitigation measures and the implementation plan. The provincial approval came last week in the form of the conditional water licence.

With the licence now in place, the HFN group is ready to begin negotiating an Energy Purchase Agreement with BC Hydro. “This year we’ll complete the overall assessment and design work. By next summer, and depending on the community review, we will be ready to build,” says Stan Coleman, CEO for the HFN group of businesses.

The project is expected to provide a variety of short-term jobs in construction and other labour services. Additionally the project will provide a long-term, permanent job for one to two people as plant manager and operator.

For more information on the Sarita Clean Energy Project, contact the HFN group of businesses at 778-421-2663.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *