1,100 MW Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project

1,100 MW Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.

British Columbia, Canada

  • Project identification, concept development, and preliminary engineering
  • First Nations consultation and information sharing
  • Geotechnical investigations
  • Environmental studies and permitting and prediction of fluvial geomorphic effects on aquatic habitat
  • Hydrometric data collection and analysis
  • Feasibility design and costing
Project Overview

The proposed Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project includes 17 run-of-river hydroelectric facilities located on tributaries of the Homathko, Southgate, and Orford Rivers, in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Combined, these projects constitute about 1,100 MW of renewable energy, with 200 km of 230 kV and 250 km of 500 kV transmission line and interconnecting substations, new access roads, bridges and barge landing facilities, construction camps, and air strips.

Project Role

Knight Piésold identified the potential sites in Bute Inlet and developed the overall clustering concept to make the project economically attractive, even with the long transmission lines to connect the project to the BC Hydro grid. Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. engaged Knight Piésold to further the development of these facilities that made up the 1,100 MW Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project, including the following assignments:

  • First Nations consultation and information sharing
  • Environmental studies (fisheries, instream flow release, wildlife, flora, etc.)
  • Fluvial geomorphology characterization and impact assessment for each facility to evaluate potential effects on aquatic habitat
  • Permitting and licensing support
  • Geotechnical investigations, including terrain hazard assessment
  • Project optimization and value engineering
  • Preliminary and feasibility design (weirs, dams, intakes, penstocks, tunnels, powerhouses, transmission lines, substations, access roads, bridges, barge landings, camps, etc.)
  • Cost estimating, energy estimating, and overall viability assessment

Knight Piésold has also undertaken all aspects of hydrometric data collection, including site selection, instrumentation (selection and installation), continuous benchmark and cross-section surveying, and maintenance of a rigorous quality assurance program. Knight Piésold engineers and scientists maintain an emphasis on quality and repeatability, and all gauging stations were operated in a manner consistent with or exceeding the highest available standards for hydrometric data collection and interpretation.