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Knight Piésold Receives Award of Merit at the 2015 ACEC-BC Awards

April 13, 2015, Vancouver, BC, Canada – Knight Piésold Canada is honoured to have received an Award of Merit in the Energy and Industry category for the Kokish River Hydroelectric Project at this year’s Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia (ACEC-BC) Awards for Engineering Excellence. ACEC-BC presented the award at the annual gala celebration on April 10, 2015, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. In its 26th year, the ACEC-BC Awards celebrate technical excellence in the consulting engineering industry, recognizing outstanding projects throughout the province and beyond.

The Kokish River Hydroelectric Project is a 45 MW run-of-river facility located 15 km east of Port McNeill, BC. The project owner, Kwagis Power Limited Partnership, engineer-procure-construct contractor, Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co., and lead design engineer, Knight Piésold, worked in a collaborative design-build environment to develop solutions tailored to the unique and sensitive attributes of the project area, particularly on the presence of salmon and steelhead trout. The project included one of the largest capacity Coanda screen intakes in the world, a 9.3 km long buried penstock, and a surface powerhouse with four 6-jet vertical axis Pelton turbine generating units.

Knight Piésold conducted project optimization, permitting assistance, and preliminary engineering prior to completing the detailed design, taking into consideration Kokish River’s diverse fish habitat throughout the development process. The intake and diversion weir arrangement included one of the largest Coanda screen intakes in the world to prevent debris, coarse sediment, and fish from entering the generation stream; probably the smallest Obermeyer crest gate in the world to allow for the safe downstream migration of juvenile fish; and a large vertical slotted fish ladder to facilitate the upstream migration of adult fish. Other design innovations included a temporary river diversion during construction to enable year-round fish passage, and a fish fence across the tailrace of the powerhouse to prevent fish from entering the tailrace and to generate flow patterns that would encourage fish to continue upstream.

Customized project management tools, innovative design concepts, project optimization studies, and strong teamwork all played significant roles in the project’s success. The project was designed and constructed on time and on budget, and will generate clean renewable energy to power 13,000 homes in BC annually.

Photo courtesy of ACEC-BC.