BC's largest independent run-of-river hydro project starts generating clean power

GE Energy
Tags: energy management

Plutonic Power Corporation and GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, announced August 9 that their Toba Montrose General Partnership (TMGP) has commenced selling electricity to BC Hydro under an Electricity Purchase Agreement (“EPA”) from power generated by the East Toba River and Montrose Creek generation facilities. TMGP has received confirmation from BC Hydro that the project has met its guaranteed commercial operations date commitment under the EPA. Both facilities are now operating at full capacity while their commissioning continues.

The operation of the facilities comes at the end of nearly a three year construction program and is the first operational clean power project in Canada for Plutonic and GE Energy Financial Services. Plutonic and GE thank their First Nations partners – the Klahoose, Sliammon and Sechelt First Nations -- in addition to all of the men and women who have worked on the project over the last three years for their dedication and efforts.

“For Plutonic Power, the achievement of commercial operations and sale of electricity from the two Toba Valley facilities marks a significant transformational milestone,” said Donald McInnes, vice chair and CEO of Plutonic Power. “We are extremely grateful to our equity financial partner GE, our First Nations partners, our debt syndicate providers, our customer BC Hydro, our contractor Peter Kiewit Sons Company and all their subcontractors and the communities that have supported the project.”

“Achieving commercial operations of the East Toba River Montrose Creek Project is a significant step toward realizing British Columbia’s clean energy potential,” said Alex Urquhart, president and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services. “We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with Plutonic, supporting renewable energy growth in the province and expanding our business in Canada.”

The two facilities remain under the control of Peter Kiewit Sons Company, which has constructed the project under a fixed price construction contract. The project will sell all of the power generated from the two facilities to BC Hydro under a 35-year EPA. Substantial completion and handover of the facilities to TMGP is expected by the end of the third quarter after further operator training, testing and other commissioning activities.

Until substantial completion is achieved, revenues from power sales will be credited against the $663 million budgeted capital expenditures. As a bonus for early completion, Peter Kiewit Sons Company is entitled to a portion of energy sales from the East Toba facility prior to July 1, 2010 and from the Montrose facility prior to November 1, 2010.

The project is one of several that Plutonic and GE have undertaken that will help British Columbia meet its goal of electricity self-sufficiency by 2016 by using 93 percent clean domestic generation sources. In addition to the Toba Montrose Project, Plutonic Power and GE Energy Financial Services are constructing the 340,000 megawatt-hours per year Dokie Wind Project near Chetwynd, British Columbia. It is scheduled to achieve commercial operation in the first quarter of 2011. GE and Plutonic have also executed a 40-year EPA with BC Hydro for another hydroelectric power project, the Upper Toba Valley Project.

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