Hesquiaht First Nation Proposes Hot Springs Cove, BC Hydro Power Project

Assessing stream flow on Ahtaapq Creek for Hot Springs Cove hydro project

 June 23, 2017

The Hesquiaht First Nation on BC’s Vancouver Island hopes to reduce Hot Springs Cove’s dependence on diesel fuel through a hydro power project, reports Andrew Bailey in the Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News.

John Ebell of Barkley Project Group, a consulting organization working with Hesquiaht on the project, told Bailey “the village of Hot Springs Cove has long been dependent on diesel generation for electricity… The diesel emissions are 580 tonnes annually, on average. This will reduce it by 67%.”

Ebell said installing the new 250 kilowatt hydro facility would cost about $7 million. The federal government and the provincial government are expected to assume much of the cost.

Hesquiaht Chief Councillor Richard Lucas told the Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News that the switch to hydro would provide more reliable power, save the First Nation thousands of dollars every year, and have a positive environmental impact by cutting down on the amount of diesel and lubricants being shipped to the remote island community.

“We transport the diesel from Tofino on the barge and, a lot of times, they can’t make it in because of the weather,” he said, adding the hydro project has “been a long time coming.”

The community is also looking at other energy sources, including solar. The hydro project would create about 20 short-term jobs while it’s being built, and five ongoing jobs once it’s in place. The community has been seeking alternative energy sources to diesel for roughly 30 years, and a 1988 feasibility assessment identified the Cove’s Ahtaapq Creek as a viable hydro energy source.

Read Andrew Bailey’s article: www.westerlynews.ca/news/hydro-power-project-proposed-at-hot-springs-cove/.

Photo source: Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News.

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