Blessing of East Toba/Montrose marks first step in the revitalization of the Toba Valley
Toba River Valley, BC, October 4, 2007 - Plutonic Power
Corporation President Donald McInnes, The Honourable Gordon Campbell,
Premier of British Columbia, GE Energy Financial Services' Mark Tonner,
Chief Ken Brown of the Klahoose, Chief Walter Paul of the Sliammon
and Chief Marita Paul-Franke of the Sechelt First Nation attended a
ceremonial bridge crossing and blessing today of the $660 million,
196-megawatt East Toba River/Montrose Creek run-of-river hydroelectric
project in the Toba Valley, north of Powell River.
"Today's ceremony signifies our commitment as a private sector developer to the success of our partnerships with the Klahoose, Sliammon
and Sechelt Nations," said McInnes, President of Plutonic Power. "We
feel strongly about bringing positive economic and social benefits back
into this valley and to these communities while also ensuring that we
bring BC back to a place of electricity self-sufficiency through a
legacy of clean, reliable made-in-BC energy."
Initial rejuvenation and construction of forestry roads and bridges to
the powerhouse sites for the East Toba/Montrose project began in July
2007. The completion of the first bridge enables economic development
back into a valley that lay dormant for more than 20 years.
"The East Toba/Montrose project is an excellent example of how
innovative companies, working with their First Nations partners can
promote sustainable economic development and provide clean electricity
at the same time," said Premier Gordon Campbell. "This is truly a model
for others to follow and exactly the type of project our Energy Plan and
New Relationship policies were designed to stimulate. I want to
congratulate all partners involved for working together on this
"This project is an excellent demonstration of our ecomagination, GE's
program of helping meet environmental challenges, and a wonderful way to
harness nature in a respectful, sensible manner," said Mark Tonner,
Managing Director at GE Energy Financial Services in Canada.
The East Toba River/Montrose Creek run-of-river hydroelectric project
crosses the traditional territories of three First Nations. The main
powerhouse, diversion, intake and penstock and beginning of the
transmission line are in Klahoose territory. The transmission line crosses through the land of the Sliammon
First Nation and connects to the BC Hydro grid at the Saltery Bay
substation, to be built on the territory of the Sechelt Indian Band.
"These run-of-river projects have already had a huge economic impact on our band," said Chief Ken Brown of the Klahoose
First Nation. "Royalties are providing the ability to develop other
initiatives in aquaculture and forestry while employment on the project
is providing long-term jobs and skills development for our members."
"Over the past few years, the Sliammon
Nation has worked hard to extract meaningful benefit from significant
provincial crown land developments such as the East Toba River/Montrose
Creek run-of-river project," said Chief Walter Paul of the Sliammon First Nation. "Sliammon looks forward to developments like the Plutonic Power project playing a significant, positive role in assisting Sliammon's continued efforts to access long-term employment, training and business development opportunity for Sliammon membership."
"The Sechelt are pleased to be able to work with Plutonic Power
Corporation to reach an agreement that will bring real benefits to our
community and we look forward to this project bringing the economic
benefits to our people, both now and for generations to come," said
Chief Marita Paul-Franke of the Sechelt Indian Band.
Once completed, the East Toba River /Montrose Creek run-of-river
hydroelectric project will potentially displace an estimated 455,000
tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHG) annually. This is the equivalent of
taking about 80,000 cars off the road per year or planting about 60,000
hectares of trees. Commercial operation of the Toba site is expected by
mid 2010 and Montrose by late 2010.
About Plutonic Power Corporation
Plutonic Power is an emerging renewable energy producer in British
Columbia. Its proposed 34 development projects have a design capacity of
approximately 1,700 MW with the potential to generate approximately
5,500 GWh per annum of green energy, enough energy to meet the annual
needs of about 550,000 homes. Included in the 34 projects is the
creation of the Green Power Corridor, a series of non-storage
hydroelectric projects in southwestern BC, which hold the potential to
catapult British Columbia to the forefront of green energy generation in
North America. The completion of the Green Power Corridor could create
over 4,500 person years of construction employment.
Plutonic is committed to becoming the pre-eminent supplier of green
energy in British Columbia by working with First Nations, stakeholder
groups and local communities in the development of all its run-of-river
projects. This commitment will help British Columbia realize its goal of
becoming electricity self-sufficient by 2016 and meet demand utilizing
90% clean generation sources.
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