CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – SNC-Lavalin and BC Hydro have won the Outstanding Project Award from the Canadian Hydropower Association for their work on the John Hart Generating Replacement Project in Campbell River on Vancouver Island.
The project was singled out for its underground construction and environmental safeguards such as removing three penstocks and the original surface station, reducing the project’s environmental footprint, explains a release.
Features of the project include a new water intake, an underground power tunnel over eight metres in diameter, an underground powerhouse as tall as a 10-storey building and spanning the equivalent size of a football field, and an underground tailrace tunnel.
“SNC-Lavalin and its partners are thankful for BC Hydro’s trust in taking the innovative route of building an underground power station that leaves a small footprint on the environment.
“We applied our best engineering, utilized best practices in tunnelling, and employed innovations from the hydro and construction worlds to ensure a successful outcome that leaves a clean energy legacy for generations to come,” said SNC-Lavalin vice-president of operations and senior project manager Royden Heays in a statement.
Original plans for the project were for a surface level powerhouse requiring an extensive steel lined section in the power tunnel. Instead, the powerhouse was placed underground which negated the need for steel lining and made the project more affordable, the release adds.
“Our team has worked hard on this project since it was initiated in 2007 and we are very pleased to have a generating station that is reliable, seismically strong, and protects downstream fish habitat from river flow reductions,” added BC Hydro vice-president of project delivery Melissa Holland.
“SNC-Lavalin and their team have done great work and were very innovative with the placement of the powerhouse. The design is also a benefit to the community and adjacent Elk Falls Provincial Park.”
The John Hart project is the first Canadian public-private partnership in the hydro sector. SNC-Lavalin created InPower BC as a partnership with BC Hydro to partially finance, design and build the new generating facility and maintain it for 15 years.