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Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project


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Review Status BC EAO: Pre-application CEAA: Joint Panel Review (disbanded)

EPA Status Submitted to and later withdrawn from Clean Power Call

Alterra Power Corp., (formerly, Plutonic Power Corporation) is proposing to construct the largest cluster of hydroelectric projects ever built in British Columbia, on streams feeding into Bute Inlet. The company claims it will have a "nameplate" capacity of 1027 megawatts (MW) - 10% of the total hydroelectric generating capacity in BC Hydro's legacy dams - from 17 powerhouses.

Plutonic's revised project description, submitted in December 2008 to the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO), states that:

The Project will be comprised of three interconnected groups of run-of-river hydro facilities on tributaries to rivers that drain to Bute Inlet on British Columbia’s central coast. In total, the three groups will be comprised of 17 run-of-river facilities, generating a total nameplate capacity of 1,027 MW. Six facilities (Southgate Group) will be located in the Southgate River Drainage, three facilities (Orford Group) in the Orford River Drainage, and eight facilities (Homathko Group) will be located in or near the Homathko River Drainage. Figure 1 illustrates the project location and general Project layout.

Each group of facilities will be connected to the proposed substation near the mouth of the Southgate River (referred to as the Pigeon Valley Collector Substation in figures associated with this document) through 216 km of 230 kV collector transmission lines on new right of way. From the proposed substation located near the mouth of the Southgate River, electricity will be transmitted 227 km through a 500 kV trunk transmission line to the point of interconnection with the British Columbia Transmission Corporation (BCTC) grid, at the BCTC Malaspina substation near Earls Cove.

06-Jun-2012 Sliammon First Nation and Alterra Power Sign Resource Development Agreement. link

14-Jul-2011 Alterra signs deal with Homalco First Nation. link

18-Mar-2011 Federal Minister of Environment confirms that the Panel has been disbanded, and a new panel will be appointed if the EA continues. link

07-Mar-2010 Magma Energy Corp and Plutonic Power Corp announce merger to form Alterra Power Corp. link

03-Jun-2010 Bute Hydro Inc. advises that the project timeline is extended, though it puts no dates on the timline. link

21-Jan-2010 CEAA advises that the participant funding program has been cancelled, and will be re-initiated once Bute Hydro is in a position to confirm a timeline for the submission of its environmental impact statement, at the earliest, in 2011. link

03-Dec-2009 Bute Hydro notified the assessment agencies that the Environmental Impact Statement will again be postponed, likely until 2011. link

09-Nov-2009 On September 1 & 2 the Panel and Secretariat visited the Bute Inlet project site by boat and by air, Plutonic's East Toba and Montrose construction sites, and followed the entire proposed transmission line route. The presentation, including maps and photographs, is here. (Marie-France Therrien by email.)

17-Sep-2009 The announcement of the allocation of participant funding will be delayed until approximately mid-November, to coincide with the announcement about allocation of Aboriginal funding. (Marie-France Therrien by email.)

18-Aug-2009 Bute Hydro notified the assessment agencies that the Environmental Impact Statement would be submitted in May 2010. link

13-Mar-2009 Plutonic notified the assessment agencies that the project, titles to streams, etc., would henceforth be in the name of Bute Hydro Inc., a 100% owned subsidiary of Plutonic Power Corp. link

Project Info

Plutonic Project Info

BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) Project Info

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) Project Info

Project Maps

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