Thursday, February 5, 2009

Highway 37 Electrification

I am glad to see the province is still working on moving this ahead. I would like to see plans come about to build the line through to the Yukon and Alaska.

The green power potential of hte Hwy 37 corridor is high, with the line in place it become possible to begin developing all manner of run of the river projects in the region and provide further green power to BC

Feb 02, 2009 14:19 ET

AME BC: Highway 37 Power Line Coalition Applauds Premier for Expressing his Intent to Seek Federal Infrastructure Funds to Support Northwest Transmission Line

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 2, 2009) - The Highway 37 Power Line Coalition today congratulated and thanked the Premier of British Columbia, the Honourable Gordon Campbell, for expressing his interest in seeking federal infrastructure funds toward the review of electrification of Highway 37. Speaking at the 26th annual AME BC Mineral Exploration Roundup conference, the Premier expanded on his earlier commitments to the development of electrical transmission in the province's northwest.

The Premier stated that potential federal government infrastructure funds could be directed to permitting and potential construction of a power line in northwest British Columbia along Highway 37, a region with excellent mineral development and power generation potential.

"The Premier has taken a visionary approach to Northwest BC electrification," said Initiatives Prince George President & CEO Tim McEwan. "By directing funds provided by the federal budget towards the electrification of Highway 37, the BC and federal governments would open up the development potential in the Northwest. We applaud Premier Campbell's willingness to leverage federal infrastructure funds to develop the power line."

In September 2008 Premier Gordon Campbell announced $10 million for engineering, environmental assessment and Aboriginal consultation for a power line from Terrace to Bob Quinn, a corridor surrounded by extraordinary mining and power generation potential. The Highway 37 coalition has since been working with First Nations and government and its agencies to extend the project review to Dease Lake.

"The Tahltan Nation supports responsible developments based on recognition of Tahltan Aboriginal rights and title and that provide for shared decision-making as well as revenue and benefit sharing," says Annita McPhee, Chair of the Tahltan Central Council. "We look forward to studying and assessing this project."

"We're pleased that the Premier is committed to making this important infrastructure project a priority, thereby realizing the vast economic potential it would stimulate in exploration and development," said Gavin C. Dirom, President & CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC).

"MABC's Report on the Electrification of Highway 37 shows there is potential for more than $15 billion in investment, almost 11,000 jobs and $300 million in annual government revenues. Clearly, it would be money well spent by both levels of government," added Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of the Mining Association of BC (MABC).

About the Highway 37 Power Line Coalition: The coalition represents communities, the Northern Development Initiative Trust, non-profit organizations, mineral exploration and mining companies, independent power producers, joint venture First Nations companies and individuals committed to the construction of a high voltage transmission line from Terrace to Dease Lake, British Columbia, and perhaps beyond. The coalition is committed to sustainable economic development in Northwestern British Columbia and believes electrical infrastructure is the key to the future of British Columbia's Northwest.

About AME BC: AME BC represents more than 5,000 members including geoscientists, prospectors, engineers, entrepreneurs, exploration companies, suppliers, mineral producers, and associations who are engaged in mineral exploration in BC and throughout the world. Through leadership, partnerships, and advocacy, AME BC promotes a healthy environment and business climate for the mineral exploration industry. AME BC is the predominant voice of mineral exploration in British Columbia.

About MABC: MABC represents companies involved in the exploration and development, mining and smelting of minerals, metals, coal and industrial minerals in British Columbia. It is regarded as the predominant voice of mining in the province.

About Initiatives Prince George: Initiatives Prince George (IPG) is the economic development authority for Prince George and Region, and has as one of its strategic priorities the development of a vibrant mining industry in Northern British Columbia. IPG is a non-profit corporation owned by the City of Prince George. Originally incorporated in 1983, IPG aims to undertake programs and projects designed to grow and diversify the local economy. IPG integrates investment attraction, trade development, tourism promotion, events and film for Prince George. IPG also takes a proactive role in assisting the completion of major business contracts that have strategic value for the Prince George community and British Columbia's north.

About the Northern Development Initiative Trust: Northern Development is an independent regional economic development corporation focused on stimulating economic diversification and job creation in central and northern British Columbia, a region that is strategically located, and offers a resource-rich economy with many competitive advantages and incentives for business. As the leading economic development agency in the region, Northern Development will be the catalyst to inject $2 billion every decade into communities within the region to realize their economic potential. The corporation supports community economic development initiatives with funding for economic diversification infrastructure, feasibility studies, marketing, capacity building, grant writing, community halls, recreational facilities, and community foundations.

For more information, please contact

AME BC
Jonathan Buchanan
Manager, Communications
(604) 630-3923
Email: jbuchanan@amebc.ca

1 comment:

Czarembo said...

I enjoyed reading your comments regarding Highway 37 electrification, aka the Northwest Transmission Line (NTL). It truly will be a green transmission line - and it should be smart too! By that I mean it should have fiber optics on it.

The City and Borough of Wrangell Alaska, just recently formed from the former town, is actively working to advocate for a link to the proposed NTL because it sees the link as a win-win for our respective regions.

There are many more benefits for both regions, some we can't yet foresee. Keep up the good work, Alaska is will benefit too and so the concept is supported here among those who have a clear understanding of the benefits of interconnection.

The Alaska Panhandle (we Alaskan's know it as Southeast Alaska) has over 10,000 megawatts of low (environmental) impact, alpine lake tap hydroelectric potential. Alaska has wave energy from the Gulf of Alaska which is measured in terra-watts (trillions). Much like BC's Northcoast, we have tidal ranges which make production of lunar energy possible. And I haven't mentioned biomass either which is a renewable energy source.

The Northwest Transmission Line will benefit us (Alaskans and First Alaskans) immensely along with benefitting the Northwest as well. We get a market for our surplus energy (Southeast Alaska presently use only 200 megawatts or two-percent of our hydroelectric potential).

In other ways we're much like Northwest BC. Many of our small first Alaskan communities are still on diesel generation and it is killing the small town economies. So, like Dease Lake and Iskut our smaller predominantly First Nation towns would benefit greatly from being interconnected.

I read recently about Northwest geothermal being tappable with an NTL, Alaska has abundant geothermal in our region too. Southeast also has wind opportunities much like Haida Gwaii's Naikun proposal, but we see that as further out in the future.

So, many Alaskans here join you in supporting the NTL on Highway 37. Alaska's future production provides assurances that there will always be energy flowing on your government's NTL investment (in the event of mine closures due to world metal prices). Interconnecting Alaska's generating sources to BC's provides stability to long distance transmission lines.