The Ontario government has given preliminary permission to four companies for the development of new small hydro projects in the Canadian province.

The companies involved are Woods Power Generation, Wendigo Power Partnership, Wesa Group Inc and McGraw Falls Water Power. They have been given the opportunity to explore potential on the Grassy river near Timmins, Larder river south near Englehart, Wasdell Falls on the Black Severn river near Washago and McGraw Falls near the town of Kakabeka Falls, respectively. Wasdell and McGraw are opportunities to re-develop existing Ministry of Natural Resources dams.

‘If these sites are developed it will mean cleaner air and healthier Ontarians,’ said Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay. ‘They have the potential to generate 10.8MW of emission-free power – enough to supply up to 9700 homes with electricity.’

The companies can now pursue approval to build hydro facilities on the sites, on condition that environmental assessments are carried out at the sites. The projects must also be offered for public review before construction of the facilities can begin.