Ts’a:ʔaqo: ʔa (Uchuck Creek) Hydro Project

Identifying and developing a local clean energy solution that aligns with environmental and economic priorities.

Project Type: Hydro
Nation: Uchucklesaht Tribe Government
Capacity: 250 kW
Status: In development
Project Start Date: 2021
Project Completion Date: 2026

The Uchucklesaht Village of Ehthlateese located on Uchucklesaht Inlet has been home to Uchucklesaht citizens for generations. Infrastructure issues, a fire, remoteness, and economic opportunities elsewhere reduced the village population to near zero until recently. Over the past several years Uchucklesaht has embarked on a rapid development and revitalization program to return the village to historical population levels. Because of the remote location, electrical demand is met entirely by a diesel generation facility operated by BC Hydro. Uchucklesaht is determined to identify and develop a local clean energy solution to power the village that aligns with environmental and economic priorities.

The Uchuck Creek Hydro project is a proposed run-of-river hydro project that includes significant energy storage potential via Uchuck Lake. The project is located entirely on Uchucklesaht treaty lands and experiences some of the highest annual rainfall in North America. Preliminary analysis, including hydro generation modelling and village electricity load forecasting, suggest that the project has to potential to satisfy near 100% of the village load given current development plans.

This project is currently in the preliminary design phase with a focus on hydrological analysis and environmental assessment to inform preliminary design concepts. Detailed design is expected to begin in 2023. Commissioning is targeted in 2025-2026. This project involves close collaboration with BC Hydro which currently operates the Ehthlateese community energy system.

This project has received support from Natural Resources Canada, the New Relationship Trust, and the Province of BC.