A new independent power project (IPP) for BC Hydro is in the works for Stoney Creek, seven kilometres north of Fauquier towards Burton.
The project is still in its infancy and could take two to five years before it starts running, but the idea has some people concerned.
Area K director Paul Peterson said he’s dead set against any kind of piping in creeks which he calls an intrusion of nature.
“It doesn’t seem right,” Peterson said. “I’m against the whole concept just because it seems wrong. That will fill only a little bit of our insatiable appetites [for electricity.]”
Peterson said he knows of many more IPPs just like this in the area, and this one is just another he’s going to keep fighting against.
“My area is just full of them,” he said. “And there aren’t any that have gone forward yet.”
The project is not directly being built by BC Hydro, but the director behind it, Dustin Erickson, said what’s generated will be sold to them.
“Our project is considered quite small,” Erickson said. “To put this in perspective it can on average power roughly 60 homes.”
Murray McPhail, senior land officer for the ministry of natural resources, said the application is currently under review for the land and will cover roughly 50 hectares along the creek.
“However if the project is approved in the future, the area would be reduced to only cover the improvement that would be constructed such as intake/penstock, power hours, access road and transmission,” McPhail said.
Erickson said the project is smaller and will have a small impact on the environment.
He said the powerhouse that will contain the turbines, generator and electrical equipment will be about 150 square feet. The Penstock (a pipe that conveys water from the intake to the turbine) will be about 0.4 metres in diameter and about 1700 metres long.
“To avoid environmental impact we will not be clear cutting a path or changing the natural topography of the land while installing the Penstock,” Erickson said. “From an esthetical point of view while driving by the site on Highway 6 you would see a driveway and a power line crossing the road. If you didn’t already know it was there you’d most likely think it was a residence.”