A proposal to do field studies to lay the groundwork for an independent power project at Hen Ingram Lake/Quesnel Lake was the main topic of discussion at the Horsefly River Roundtable’s annual meeting in Horsefly, Feb. 20.
The roundtable members discussed the proposal via conference call with Robert Coelho of Eclipsol Energy, representing the Hen Ingram Power Project.
The group was told that the project would use the “pumped storage technology” to build a hydro power generation facility using Quesnel Lake as the lower reservoir and Hen Ingram Lake as the upper reservoir.
While the project is still in its conceptual stage, it would involve an intake located near the shoreline of Hen Ingram Lake outlet and a powerhouse located near the Quesnel Lake shoreline.
The structure at Hen Ingram Lake would regulate the rate at which water is released, diverting some flow from the natural stream outlet into four, three-metre diameter penstocks to the powerhouse on the shore of Quesnel Lake.
Timing and quantity of lake discharges would be scheduled by the company to take advantage of premium electricity prices offered by BC Hydro.
The power would then be directed west into a new transmission line corridor 200 to 300 metres wide that would connect with power lines in the Soda Creek area.
The initial project is scaled to generate 50 megawatts of power, with the potential to expand the number of lakes involved to include Keno Lake and Whiffle Lake nearby which would generate up to 200 megawatts of power.
Benefits to the Horsefly area would likely be through employment during construction and operations, rather than by the direct supply of power.
If the Hen Ingram Lake project is successful, then Keno and Whiffle Lake would also be investigated for inclusion in the plan, thereby reducing the burden on Hen Ingram Lake.
After discussion the roundtable decided to take questions from the general public on the proposal and submit them to Eclipsol Energy on behalf of the community.
Community members are reminded that submissions to Eclipsol Energy may be sent to http://www.eclipsol.com/hen/ directly until March 13.
The roundtable will also receive questions and comments on the project at firstname.lastname@example.org until April 11.
People who would like to comment on paper can drop their submissions off at my (Bruce MacLeod’s) home and I will see the submissions are forwarded to Eclipsol and copied to the roundtable for further discussion.
There is a computer in the Horsefly Library for people who do not have access to one of their own to research the project.
Anyone can research run of river projects in B.C. by simply typing exactly that into Google, and after reading all sides of the information make an informed decision on whether or not you are happy with the idea.
The Hen Ingram Lake Hydro Project will be discussed further at the roundtable’s next meeting March 20 starting at 7 p.m. in the Horsefly Library.