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A fourth dam on the Peace River?


Source: Daily Herald Tribune.


Another dam is being planned for the Peace River.


It’s called the Amisk dam and it would be situated in northwestern Alberta.


The Alaska Highway News has reported Bowmont Capital & Advisory, Concord Green Energy and AHP Development Corporation “want to build the dam 15 kilometres upstream from the community of Dunvegan, about 90 kilometres from Fort St. John as the crow flies.” In terms of size, “The project would generate 1,875 gigawatts of energy per year — a little over a third of the 5,100 gigawatt hours the Site C dam would produce.” Construction could begin as early as 2018 with the dam in operation by 2023.


The dam would also flood about 800 hectares of land.


The newspaper notes, “In their project description, AHP notes concerns about the dam’s impact on Treaty rights and traditional land use, fish spawning grounds, and culturally sensitive sites.” The Canadian Press adds, “AHP estimates the dam would raise water levels as far away as 50 kilometres upstream and flood about eight square kilometres of land. The company acknowledges it would affect wildlife and habitat, including part of Dunvegan West Wildland Provincial Park. The Alberta Wilderness Association has said it is concerned the project would cause significant harm to the Peace River valley, including to fish, birds, deer, elk, plants and trees.”


The federal and provincial governments have yet to approve the dam.


On February 12, federal environment and climate change minister Catherine McKenna announced the dam would be subject to an environmental assessment panel review.


A government media release stated, “The decision to refer the environmental assessment of the project to a review panel was made after considering its potential to cause significant adverse environmental effects and concerns expressed by the public and Indigenous groups in relation to these effects.”


The Canadian Press notes, “Environment Canada says the review panel will be formed within three months and is to submit its final report within 16 months.”


This project may also face the challenge of the proposal that British Columbia sell power from the Site C dam on the Peace River to Alberta in exchange for BC’s approval of tar sands pipeline, such as the Northern Gateway or TransMountain pipelines. For more on that, please see this blog.