The agreement by BC Hydro to purchase all power generated by the proposed 150MW Keenlyside power plant in south central BC has kick started the project – previously postponed several times.

A contract for design and construction of the project is to be awarded this year to one of three short-listed firms, who submitted proposals for the design and construction of the project last September. The three finalists are groups headed by: Northern Con- struction Company Ltd with McNamara Construction Company; Peter Klewit Sons Co. Ltd.; and Walter & SCI Construction (Canada) Ltd. The plant is expected to be complete by the end of 2002. The project is owned by Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and Columbia Power Corporation (CPC), both provincially-owned.

The Keenlyside power plant will be sited at the existing Hugh Keenlyside dam on the Columbia River, 7km upstream of Castlegar. The dam was completed in 1968; it was built for water storage and has no generation. According to the original development plan the plant was to have a capacity of 220MW. The revised power plant will have 2x75MW Kaplan turbines operating under a net 17m head.