Plutonic Power Corporation develops environmentally friendly run-of river hydro projects in British Columbia.
Now before we get into the specifics on this one, let's first answer the question: What is run-of-river hydro?
Plutonic defines it quite well, stating that run-of-river projects do not actually require any damming of water. Instead, some of the water in a river is diverted and sent into a pipe called a penstock.
This penstock feeds the water downhill to a generating station. The natural force of gravity creates the energy required to spin the turbines that in turn generate electricity. The water leaves the generating station and is returned to the river without altering the existing flow or water levels.
All of Plutonic's component specifications and construction methods are consistent with providing the least amount of environmental and visual impacts. In fact, in a comparison of environmental impacts, the Ontario Power Authority shows run-of-river hydro to have less of an impact than solar and wind. And of course it rates much better than oil and coal. "In a comparison of environmental impacts, the Ontario Power Authority shows run-of river hydro to have less of an impact than solar and wind. And of course it rates much better than oil and coal."
Shaw Capital Management Korea News: Operations. Plutonic Power is in the process of building out a number of run-of-river hydro projects in Canada. The first to go online will be the East Toba and Montrose project, which is expected to begin operations later in 2010.
The combined installed capacity of this one will be 196 megawatts. All the electricity to be generated from this project will be sold to BC Hydro under a 35-year sales contract.
In the third quarter 2009, 74 percent of the project's plant construction was completed, and 73 percent of the penstock was completed. 79 percent of the construction of the transmission line was completed.
Shaw Capital Management Korea News: Other projects include: Upper Toba Valley Project (3 facilities). Estimated installed capacity of 166.3 megawatts when completed. Bute Inlet Project (17 facilities). Estimated installed capacity of 1,030 megawatts when completed. Freda Creek Project (1 facility). Estimated installed capacity of 35 megawatts when completed.
The BC Hydro Connection. In June, 2008, BC Hydro launched a Clean Power Call to develop new energy operations. A Request for Proposals followed for projects using proven technologies, such as hydro, wind, solar and geothermal.
This Clean Power Call aligned BC Hydro with the BC Energy Plan which calls for 90 percent of electricity in the province to come from clean or renewable sources and for all new electricity generation projects to have zero net greenhouse gas emissions.
The intent here for BC Hydro is to successfully negotiate power purchase agreements with those chosen from a long list of proposals. Plutonic is on this list.
And on November 19, 2009, Plutonic Power received notification from By Hydro that the Bute Inlet and Upper Toba Valley Projects will be approved. These projects were proposed jointly with GE Energy Financial Services.
The GE Connection. In August of 2006, Plutonic Power granted GE Energy Financial Services the exclusive right to make a $100 million equity investment and provide $400 million in debt financing for its East Toba River and Montrose project. In return for the equity investment, GE gets a 49 percent equity stake and 60 percent economic interest in the project. Now by the time BC Hydro issued its request for proposals, GE had given an equity contribution of about $79.3 million and extended about another $71.3 million credit for the East Toba River and Montrose project.
GE also formed a join venture with Plutonic last June 2009 to purchase an uncompleted 144-megawatt wind project in northeast BC. This is the largest wind power project under construction in British Columbia. Given British Columbia's recent announcement that it's going to establish a Green Energy Advisory Task Force' to help advance the Province's climate, Plutonic Power is in a good position. While Plutonic is knows for run-of-river hydro, this deal allows the company to further develop green assets in Canada. The purchase of this wind project was completed on December 11, 2009. Given British Columbia's recent announcement (November 2, 2009) that it's going to establish a Green Energy Advisory Task Force' to help advance the Province's climate, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a greener economy, Plutonic Power is in a good position.
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