Canadian Manufacturing

Box Canyon run-of-river hydro project in B.C. reaches commercial operation

16 megawatt hydro site not far from Howe Sound to supply power to grid through 40-year power purchase agreement



VANCOUVER—Elemental Energy Inc. has announced it has brought its 16 megawatt run-of-river Box Canyon hydroelectric project northeast of Vancouver fully online.

The West Coast-based renewable developer, which partnered with the Squamish First Nation on the project, will supply the grid with clean energy through a 40-year power purchase agreement with BC Hydro.

“We are thrilled to be entering into the operating phase of Box Canyon, a project that we have taken through development, financing, and now construction”, Jamie Houssian, the company’s principal, said. “This project is a great addition to Elemental’s growing portfolio of long-term, operating renewable energy projects.”

The project draws water from three creek intakes and runs it through 8.6 kilometres of penstock to a powerhouse at the base of the McNab Valley, where it’s used power turbines. Unlike conventional hydroelectric power plants, which use dams and reservoirs, run-of-river (also run-of-the-river) facilities have little or no reservoir. While this means their electricity output can vary depending on the flow of the river and the time of year, they generally have less impact on the environment.

Box Creek adds to Elemental’s renewable portfolio, which now includes three operating wind farms and numerous under-development projects.

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