Two private corporations hold applications for licences to use water within Garibaldi Provincial Park to generate electricity. But at least one has no plans to apply for a boundary change in order to build a run-of-river power project in the class-A park, according to a representative.
Creek Power Inc. applied for a water licence for Billygoat Creek in 2001, while KMC Energy Corporation’s application for Rubble Creek dates from 1992. Both filings lack applications for land tenure and other details, and therefore likely wouldn’t be accepted today, said Tim Bennett, section head for water allocation at B.C.’s Ministry of Environment.
“So, these particular files have been on our books for a long time,” Bennett told the Straight. “Normally, there’s no deadline to complete a project, unless someone else makes an application.”
Creek Power proposed sending up to 11.5 cubic metres of water per second down a three-kilometre-long penstock to a powerhouse with 9.9 megawatts of generating capacity, Bennett said, referring to the application. It proposed an intake on Billygoat Creek, 900 metres inside the park’s eastern boundary.
KMC Energy envisioned diverting water from Rubble Creek, which is fed by Garibaldi Lake, into a 2.5-kilometre-long penstock beginning about 1.5 kilometres inside the park, according to Bennett.
Kelly Boychuk, project manager for Ledcor Power Inc., which owns Creek Power, said his company is studying Billygoat Creek to see if it’s a viable site for waterpower development, but it has never intended to install a project inside a provincial park.
“That wouldn’t happen today anyway, even without all the hoopla from the Pitt River thing,” Boychuk said. “It’s just too much brain damage to try and do something like that in a park.”
David Milne—listed in B.C.’s corporate registry as KMC Energy’s president—didn’t return telephone calls before the Straight’s deadline.
Chief Bill Williams, cochair of the Squamish Nation, said the province should consult First Nations before accepting water-licence applications.
In a November 2007 study for BC Hydro and the B.C. Transmission Corporation, Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. identified 8,242 viable run-of-river sites in the province.