The Klinaklini River, approximately 200 Km long, passes between some of the tallest and most remote peaks in the Coastal Mountain Range. With a mean annual discharge of close to 200 cubic meters per second (cms) and peak flows reaching as high as 18,000 cms the Klinaklini River is one of the largest rivers in the province. Home to large populations of threatened Grizzly Bear and Marbled Murrelet, this drainage currently encompasses some of least fragmented habitat on the Canadian West Coast. With recorded Salmon, Steelhead and Eulachon runs in the lower river found to be some of the largest in the Georgia Basin.
Kleana Power Corp, a junior energy corporation without any currently successful projects, has recently proposed to develop the largest private Run-of-River generating facility in BC’s history with an average generating capacity of 280 MW and a peak capacity of 700 MW. Pristine Power Inc. quotes annual generated power to be 2400 GWh. This equals approximately to 50% of the power expected from Site C. In order to create a generating capacity this large, generating and transmission infrastructure of large proportion will be necessary. To give an idea of the scale of the development, here are some numbers:
- 16.5 Km long and 10m wide diversion tunnel.
Large amounts of waste rock (1.6 million cubic meters) together with necessary big scale road system improvement and multifold traffic increase during construction phase will have severe negative impact on fish and wildlife habitat. Spilling of waste rock can potentially destroy salmon habitat due to steep terrain and poor spill sites.
- Wide diversion dam and accompanying reservoir
The construction of this diversion dam will impede the natural movement of benthic organisms inhabiting the upper reaches of the river. The scale of the project requires a large dam, approximately 20 m high.
- Construction of a permanent powerhouse, staging area, barge landing facility, transmission line construction, and construction camp for 600+ workers.
Road development and the construction of permanent structures within the lower reaches of the Klinaklini will serve to damage this productive coastal floodplain and sensitive estuary. Habitat fragmentation and heightened levels of benthic siltation are the inevitable results of large scale development within such an ecosystem.
- 180 Km long 230 KV high voltage transmission line opens wilderness for more development
Beyond aesthetic damage, necessary deforestation and damage to wildlife habitat, a transmission line of this magnitude will open up a previously unavailable section of BC’s southern coast to further private hydro development. In fact, Alexander Eunall, director of Kleana Power, holds several water licenses for rivers such as the Stafford River that lie along the proposed transmission corridor.
- Over 50 dams
Within the geographic region of Knight, Bute and Toba inlets, 50 run-of-river projects are currently either being constructed, passing through the approval process, or are in the application stage. Cumulative impacts have not been appropriately considered. Salmon stocks in Knight Inlet are already under severe stress due to Salmon Farms and logging.
- Potential threats of “power firming”
Many believe an undeclared threat would be the later firming of power production and thus profitability by damming the river upstream and thereby flooding a large pristine protected area.
The low value of power produced is in exchange of high environmental risk. The large scale water diversion, diversion tunnel construction and transmission corridor will result in an irreversibly damaged ecosystem of very productive and sensitive nature that borders the Great Bear Rainforest.
This information base is a project of the BC Creek Protection Society and is supported by: