A before-and-after artist’s conception of a weir in place above the upper canyon on Springer Creek.

Springer Creek micro hydro project garners interest

A micro hydro project on Springer Creek is still waiting on permitting and funding, according to Slocan mayor Jessica Lunn.

  • Thu Jul 9th, 2015 5:00pm
  • News

TAMARA HYND

 

Castlegar News

 

A micro hydro project on Springer Creek is still waiting on permitting and funding, according to Slocan mayor Jessica Lunn.

“We’ll just have to see whether we get the infrastructure grants, which should be this fall,” she said. The village is also waiting on a development permit, applied for over a year ago and  accepted in January.

The project, expected to cost $3.4 million to build, would generate about $50,000 per year in revenue to the village.

Village council held an open house about the project at the end of May, which Lunn said was well attended. She said although there was not a lot of new information since last year’s open house, there was a much higher turn out and more questions. Twenty-nine signatures were on the sign-in sheet but many more actually attended.

“I think we needed to bring it back to the public,” said Lunn. “It did seem like there was more interest in the project. At the same time we still are at a go or no-go decision. The open house was just putting it out there, where we are with the project, and listening to any feedback.”

People had questions about fish and fish habitat, which Lunn said is part of the permit, as well as water flow levels.

“The majority of the habitat is not where the majority of the water is being diverted anyways,” she said. “But that is part of the environmental research process done through Selkirk Power a couple of years ago.”

Project consultant Mike Walsh of SNT Engineering was on hand to answer questions.

Walsh explained fish cannot get up the creek. He added that rainbow trout stocked in the 1970s  are gradually washed down the creek to ponds that they live in for years.

One person’s question of where the water will come from as Kokanee Glacier diminishes  prompted Walsh to say the creek is fed only from snow pack.

Walsh said water levels are extrapolated from 25 years of data from many creeks in the area, which came from the Washington State University Climate Impact Group.

The village is also waiting for the government to grant a provisional water licence, which will outline the amount of water that can be diverted from the creek.