The Canyon Creek project - located about 13km from Hinton, Alberta, Canada - is designed incorporating two small off-stream water reservoirs – one atop the hill by Obed mine, the other at the bottom not far from the Athabasca River.
These two man-made lakes will be connected by a pipeline with pumps, turbines and generating equipment near the bottom reservoir in a powerhouse.
The reservoirs are to be man-made, not using the existing lakes or water bodies in the area.
The design utilizes a closed-loop system. It will use the same water repeatedly pumping and generating. Water does not have to be continuously supplied, like a conventional hydro project. One initial fill will be required and we may need to top up the water level from time to time due to evaporation.
The upper reservoir is planned to be located in the southeast corner of the Obed Mountain Coal Mine surface lease. It will be created by utilizing the existing topography and building a berm to impound water. It will cover about 40 hectares (90 acres), and hold about 2.5M m3 of water when full. A small intake house approximately 20m x 20m adjacent to the berm will house safety shut-off gates and supporting equipment.
The off-stream man-made lower reservoir will be located on a lowland plateau near the Athabasca River. In the most recent development, we decided to move the lower reservoir further away from the Athabasca River to minimize impact to the local biodiversity zone. It will cover about 32 hectares (79 acres). The project will require a fill of fresh water, we are still studying various options for the source of such. Once constructed it will be filled and each year a small amount of make-up water will be needed (the source is yet to be confirmed).
The penstock is a water pipeline that will be connecting the upper and lower reservoirs. We plan to use buried steel pipe, about 2.5m in diameter and approximately 7km in length. The routing of the penstock was recently revised to minimize creek crossings and impact on fish habitat.
The power house will be located in the vicinity of the lower reservoir and will house the pumping and generating equipment and all associated technology. The project will have capacity to store 75MW for 37 hours of full capacity generation.