It’s not just Olympic athletes powering up in Canada

General Electric
Tags: energy management, green manufacturing, manufacturing

Over the last week, General Electric has highlighted healthcare technology innovations that are part of this year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. But long after the skiers and skaters have headed home, GE will still be in British Columbia — helping build the province’s largest private wind and run-of-river energy projects. GE Energy Financial Services and Plutonic Power Corporation just provided updates on the giant undertakings, which involve investments of nearly $900 million, at an event held at Vancouver’s Robson Square ice rink — which GE helped refurbish and has been renamed GE Plaza until the end of the Games. The Dokie Wind Project and the East Toba River and Montrose Creek Hydroelectric Project will help British Columbia meet its goal of electricity self-sufficiency by 2016 by generating 90 percent of its power from clean domestic energy sources.

Power play: GE and Plutonic executives celebrated the official start of construction on phase one of the Dokie Wind Project, which is 680 miles northeast of Vancouver, during the event at Robson Square, above. GE Energy Financial Services, which is our energy investment arm, and Plutonic jointly contributed and arranged $218 million of project equity and debt to finance construction of the project.

With phase one of the Dokie project now underway, roads are being cleared and foundations are being prepped for the wind turbines. The 144-megawatt project is expected to reach commercial operation by early next year and provide enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 34,000 homes and avoid more than 229,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel sources — the equivalent of taking 44,000 cars off the road.

Donald McInnes, left, and Alex Urquhart

GE and Plutonic executives also announced that the $628 million, 196-megawatt East Toba River and Montrose Creek Hydroelectric Project, located 118 miles northwest of Vancouver, is more than 80 percent complete. It has the potential to power approximately 75,000 homes and displace an estimated 455,000 tons of greenhouse gases annually — the equivalent of taking approximately 90,000 cars off the road.
GE and Plutonic Power are also preparing to undertake a feasibility study on the expansion of the Dokie Wind Project to 300 megawatts, which would be the largest private-sector wind farm built west of Ontario. The partners also are pursuing the Upper Toba Valley and Bute Inlet run-of-river hydroelectric projects in British Columbia.

* Read more about the Vancouver event
* Read coverage in the Globe and Mail
* Read coverage via Bloomberg News
* Read “GE, Plutonic may double capacity of Dokie Ridge” in Recharge News
* Read more Energy Financial Services stories on GE Reports
* Click here to learn about Canada’s study on wind farm revenues
* Learn more about GE Energy Financial Services
* See videos about the Plutonic projects