Nootka Energy OVERVIEWAs with the other regions along the west coast of Vancouver Island, a significant oil and gas potential exists offshore. There is a good potential for large offshore hydrothermal deposits and a moderate potential for geothermal resources. A moratorium is currently in place which prohibits exploratory drilling offshore, but there are initiatives underway to have this moratorium lifted.
The Nootka region includes a number of small communities, resource-based businesses, farmers, and lodge owners in remote locations. Micro hydro projects are of growing interest because it offers a stable, inflation-proof source of electricity, using proven technology.
In October 2002, BC Hydro invited independent power producers (IPPs) to submit qualification documents for more Green Energy projects. Of the 70 proposals received, 17 were on Vancouver Island. Three of these, now shortlisted, are in the Nootka region:
Cypress Creek Hydro Project in Gold River will generate 11 gigawatt hours/year, and is being developed by Synex Energy Resources Ltd.
Ucona River Hydro Project in Gold River will contribute 125 gigawatt hours/year. The developer of this project is Synex Energy Resources Ltd. in partnership with Summit Power Corporation. The penstock at this location, used to channel the water for the project, will be a 12 foot wide tunnel, 5 1/2 km long.
Zeballos Lake Hydro Project will be generating 93 gigawatt hours/year. The developer for the project is Pacific Rim Power Corp., a jointly owned company by Dependable Turbines of Port Moody BC and the Tercon Group of Companies, based in Kamloops BC.
Meares Creek Hydro Project
The construction of the 4 megawatt Mears Creek Hydro Plant, located near Muchalat Lake, was substantially completed by December 31, 2003. Subsequent to the end of the quarter, BC Hydro confirmed that as of January 26, 2004, the plant had met the conditions for commercial operation and electricity sales had commenced. The plant is scheduled to be fully constructed prior to the end of fiscal 2004 and have annualized revenue of over $1 million.