VANCOUVER, BC - March 10 , 2010 - GE Energy Financial Services, a
unit of GE (NYSE: GE), and Plutonic Power Corporation (TSX: PCC)
announced today that discussions are continuing with BC Hydro on an
Energy Purchase Agreement for the proposed Upper Toba Valley
Hydroelectric Project along British Columbia's southwest coast. BC
Hydro advises that it intends to award contracts under the Clean Power
Call in March 2010.
Since announced in 2008, the Upper Toba Valley Project in the Toba
Valley 150 kilometers north of Powell River has been modified to focus
on two run-of-river hydroelectric facilities: Upper Toba River and
Jimmie Creek, with a total design capacity of 124.3 megawatts (MW). The
original proposal included a third hydro facility on Dalgleish Creek,
which would have meant a total planned generation capacity of 166 MW.
Dalgleish was dropped during discussions with BC Hydro because of
concerns about capacity constraints on a transmission line between
Saltery Bay and Malaspina. Plutonic believes that Dalgleish remains a
viable project site should transmission constraints be resolved.
Plutonic Power and GE Energy Financial Services jointly bid the Upper
Toba Valley Project into BC Hydro's 2008 Clean Power Call in November
2008. In April 2009, the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Energy,
Mines and Petroleum Resources granted the project a Provincial
Environmental Assessment Certificate.
"We are pleased with the progress to date on the modified Upper Toba
Valley Project," said Donald McInnes, Vice-Chair and CEO of Plutonic
Power Corporation. "If successful, this would be Plutonic's and GE
Energy Financial Services' third project in BC, reinforcing our ability
to deliver quality projects for the benefit of all British Columbians as
well as our shareholders. In one year, we expect to have two projects
on line -- the 196-MW run-of-river Toba Montrose Project and the 144-MW
Dokie Wind project, and if awarded an Energy Purchase Agreement and, if
other approvals are secured, to start construction on the Upper Toba
The Upper Toba Valley Project is estimated to create up to 400
person-years of employment over a two-to-three year construction period
and will utilize the same transmission line already constructed for the
East Toba River Montrose Creek Hydroelectric Project.
In addition to finalizing an Energy Purchase Agreement, completion of
the Upper Toba Valley Project is subject to such conditions as
finalization of satisfactory documentation, approval of investment
committees and boards of directors, and senior debt financing for the
projects, and regulatory approvals.
Update on the Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project
Plutonic Power and GE Energy Financial Services had submitted a second
bid into BC Hydro's 2008 Clean Power Call in November 2008, for the
proposed Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project. Negotiations with BC Hydro
for an Energy Purchase Agreement for the Bute Inlet Project will not
proceed at this time, in order to allow for further data collection,
studies and due-diligence.
"We strongly believe that the Bute Inlet Project is an exceptional
opportunity that will be developed in due course, however we will not
move ahead with pursuing an EPA at this time," said McInnes. "We have
learned a great deal and proven our ability to bring all stakeholders
together on our three other projects in BC, and given the size of the
Bute Inlet Project and the level of interest expressed by First Nations,
regulators and the public, we now realize that further work is needed.
During the next 12 to 18 months, we will advance our studies and
permitting processes as well as build on our strong relationship with
the local communities, stakeholders and our First Nations partners."
About GE Energy Financial Services
GE Energy Financial Services' experts invest globally with a long-term
view, backed by the best of GE's technical know-how, financial strength
and rigorous risk management, across the capital spectrum, in one of the
world's most capital-intensive industries, energy. GE Energy Financial
Services helps its customers and GE grow through new investments, strong
partnerships and optimization of its US$23 billion in assets. GE Energy
Financial Services is based in Stamford, Connecticut. For more
information, visit www.geenergyfinancialservices.com.
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media
company that is built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water,
transportation and health to access to money and information, GE serves
customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000
people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at http://www.ge.com. GE is Imagination at Work.
About Plutonic Power Corporation
British Columbia based Plutonic Power is a Canadian leader in clean
energy development. Our vision is to create a legacy through the
development of renewable, reliable, clean energy projects. Plutonic is a
partner in 340 megawatts of hydro and wind projects that are under
construction. In 2010 commercial operations will start at the $660
million, 196 megawatt East Toba River and Montrose Creek run-of-river
hydroelectric project. Active construction is also underway on the
$227.5 million, 144 megawatt Dokie Wind Project, thereby diversifying
Plutonic Power's clean energy portfolio. Plutonic is committed to
working in partnership with First Nations, stakeholder groups and local
communities in the development of all of its projects. By developing its
suite of projects, Plutonic will help British Columbia realize its goal
of becoming electricity self-sufficient by 2016 utilizing 90% clean
domestic generation sources, will create employment opportunities and
will play a significant role in the fight against climate change.
GE Energy Financial Services
Plutonic Power Corporation - Investor Relations