Have you heard about the SaltWire News app?
Want to become a member? Check out the benefits here.
SaltWire Selects: Stories you don't want to miss
Get the latest summer forecast and weather knowledge from Cindy Day
SaltWire's cartoonists bring heart and humour to the news.
What you need to know about COVID-19: August 13, 2020
The provincial regulator has set some key dates related to the hearing for Nova Scotia Power’s application for a $110-million extension and modernization of its Wreck Cove hydroelectric facility.
Among the dates set by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board include the deadline to file notice of intervention is April 9, with information requests due by April 30.
The board has retained a consultant to review technical issues related to the proposed dam design and construction. It has also notified the provincial Office of Aboriginal Affairs of the application, to give it the opportunity to participate in the process, “if your office has any Crown Aboriginal consultation issues which it wishes the Board to consider in this matter.”
Nova Scotia Power had indicated to the board that the project “will essentially have no impact on the geological footprint of the facility and minimal risks associated with archaeology.”
A 250-page project package filed with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, dated Feb. 21, outlines the work proposed for the facilities and the various options that were considered before the decision was made to modernize the site.
A spokesperson for the private utility previously indicated that, with respect to the NSUARB process, the company won’t speak about the project at this time.
The Wreck Cove hydroelectric system is located in the Cape Breton Highlands and was commissioned in 1978. It is Nova Scotia Power’s largest hydroelectric system and consists of two generating stations: the Gisborne Generating Station, with an installed capacity of 3.5 megawatts, and the Wreck Cove Generating Station, with an installed capacity of 212 megawatts.
Wreck Cove collects drainage water from 216 square kilometres of the Cape Breton Highlands plateau to generate electricity. It's a unique plant, in that it was constructed in the side of the mountain and provides some interesting visuals for visitors.
It underwent a $13.5 million refurbishment in 2015, the first major work to take place there since its construction.
The work proposed would be the first and larger component of a two-phase project. The current project would include replacing the two Wreck Cove generator units; refurbishing the two turbine units and replacing the turbine runners; refurbishing the spherical valves; and upgrading the penstock intake.
It adds the objective of the project is to enable the Wreck Cove station to continue to provide renewable generation for the next 40 years. The facility is seen as being critical for meeting Nova Scotia Power’s environmental emissions caps and renewable energy targets.