Province gives environmental OK for Revelstoke 6 project

Province gives environmental OK for Revelstoke 6 project

The province has granted B.C. Hydro an environmental assessment certificate regarding a dam in British Columbia’s Interior region.

Dubbed the Revelstoke 6 project, B.C. Hydro says it is eyeing the potential installment of a sixth power-generating unit into the Revelstoke Dam. According to B.C. Hydro, the sixth generating unit “is an important contingency project in case demand grows faster than we expect. Having an environmental assessment certificate reduces our lead time for the project should we need the additional capacity sooner.”

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B.C. Hydro added that there is no timeline for the project, which would see a 500 megawatt generating unit installed  into an empty turbine bay of the dam. The project also involves a new capacitor station west of Summerland. B.C. Hydro says the project would create 472 years of temporary employment and generate local spending of about $45 million for goods, materials and services during the 40-month construction period.

The generating station is situated on the Columbia River, five kilometres upstream from Revelstoke, and on the asserted traditional territories of the Sylix Okanagan Nation, Ktunaxa Nation, Lakes Tribe and Secwepemc Nation. The capacitor station is proposed near Summerland and overlaps the traditional territory of the Sylix Okanagan Nation.

The Revelstoke 6 project would bring the station’s total peak output power to 2,980 megawatts.

The environmental assessment certificate was issued by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development on November 27th. B.C. Hydro says the certificate includes 20 conditions that were developed and discussed with Indigenous groups and members of the Revelstoke 6 committee that included government agencies, elected officials, not-for-profit groups, and public members.

Key provincial conditions for the project require BC Hydro to:

  • Develop a plan for the mitigation of impacts of the project on archeological and historical heritage resources in accordance with the Heritage Conservation Act for the life of the project;
  • Develop a fish habitat monitoring and management plan and a wildlife protection plan to mitigate, monitor and address impacts to fish and wildlife for the life of the project;
  • Develop a water-monitoring plan to monitor and mitigate impacts from the dam to water levels in the mid-Columbia River and Revelstoke and Arrow Lake reservoirs, channel and bank erosion, and discharge from the Revelstoke Dam to Arrow Lakes Reservoir; and
  • Support three Indigenous stewardship monitors during construction and the first five years of operations, represented by the Ktunaxa Nation Council, Sylix Okanagan Nation and Secwepemc.

More about the province’s environmental assessment certificate can be read here.

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