LOCATION: Northwest British Columbia, Canada
AltaGas constructed the Volcano Creek run-of-river hydroelectric project in northwest BC. The project captures 221 m of head produced by the natural flow and elevation drop of the creek to produce and deliver clean, renewable power to BC Hydro (18 MW). The project consists of intake structures (a sluice and overflow weir, a 150 m long headrace canal and an earth dyke), a 2.5 km long by 2 m diameter buried FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) and steel penstock, and a twin Pelton turbine powerhouse.
BGC provided preliminary and detailed geotechnical characterization and design, as well as construction review. Specific technical assessments included geohazard risk assessment and mitigation recommendations, and site investigations for the intake facilities, penstock and powerhouse. The site investigations involved field mapping, a seismic refraction survey, test pits, geotechnical drilling with instrumentation, hydrogeological testing, and identification of potential borrow sources for project construction. BGC completed geotechnical design for access road relocation, the intake, the penstock and the powerhouse and prepared geotechnical/civil construction drawings and specifications. During construction BGC provided engineering review and design refinement in consultation with AltaGas to expedite project delivery. The project achieved commercial operation in the fall of 2014.