The Ah’ta’apq Creek Hydro Project is located on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in the Hesquiaht First Nation community of Hot Springs Cove. This recently commissioned Run-of-River Hydro facility will reduce diesel consumption in the community by approximately 71%.
Diesel electricity generation has been the primary source of power in Hot Springs Cove for decades. This has subjected the community to significant electricity system operating costs and unacceptable levels of environmental risk. The remote location requires transport of diesel by barge through the Clayoquot Sound Ecosystem which provides irreplaceable ecological services and significant economic value in the heart of the Tofino tourism industry. In addition to the possibility of diesel spills and contamination, local air quality and noise pollution are key community concerns that have driven a shift towards clean energy.
The Ah’ta’apq Creek project has been in development for decades and has faced a variety of technical, economic, and other challenges. Among these were the passing of former Hesquiaht Chief Richard Lucas who whose commitment and passion were essential to its eventual success. The project was also constructed during the COVID-19 pandemic, remaining on-time and on-budget despite the novel and extenuating circumstances that were encountered. Barkley Project Group has worked alongside HFN during every stage of this project. This has included acting as Project Manager during the development phase, Construction Manager during construction, and supporting facility operations now that the project has been commissioned.
With Ah’ta’apq Creek Hydro online, the community is taking the next step by pursuing solar and battery technologies to further hybridize the hydro-diesel system. Barkley Project Group continues to work with Hesquiaht to advance these sustainable development initiatives with the goal of eliminating the need for diesel entirely.
This project has received support from the New Relationship Trust, the Province of BC, Natural Resources Canada, Infrastructure Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and The Fraser Basin Council.