McNair Creek Project
The McNair Creek Hydroelectric Project is a 9.8 megawatt capacity facility located in the lower Sunshine Coast region of British Columbia near the town of Gibsons in Port Mellon.
It was conceived, financed and built by Renewable Power Corp. In late 2015 it was purchased by BluEarth Renewables. On average, it provides power for 4000 homes. During times of peak water flow it can provide energy for up to 10,000.
BC Hydro estimates that the project contributes to clean air initiatives by reducing carbon dioxide emissions annually by about 12,000 tonnes.
As with every Renewable Power Corporation project, environmental concerns were given special consideration in choosing the location and design of the plant. The site was formerly a gravel pit and as part of the design and construction process, the surrounding area was rehabilitated from its former state with the planting of clover, grass, cedar, and pine. Alder and other plants are growing in naturally.
In the earliest stages of the project, scientific studies were conducted to ensure minimum impact on existing fish populations. These studies are ongoing, and now show that the trout that live in the creek and holding pond are bigger and greater in number than before construction began. The power station portion of the facility includes a spawning channel for salmon used by Coho, Chum, and Steelhead varieties. There has also been an increase in sightings of other wildlife, including deer, elk, and bears.
Operation of the McNair Creek plant began on November 3, 2004. It is the only IPP hydro plant in British Columbia that was built under budget and on time.
The McNair Creek Hydroelectric Project received the Award of Excellence for Resource, Energy and Industrial Projects from the Consulting Engineers of British Columbia (CEBC) for 2005.
Located in the lower Sunshine Coast region of British Columbia near the town of Gibsons in Port Mellon.