The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) has received $100,000 from the Bear Hydro Limited Partnership as part of a community benefit agreement.
The funds will be combined with a $319,120 grant from the provincial government to upgrade the access road at Dakota Ridge.
“The funds from this project will ensure that improvements are made to the road to Dakota Ridge, which includes gravel surfacing, increase in vehicle pullouts, increased sight lines, and expansion of the parking area,” said SCRD board chair Garry Nohr in a news release. “This means more visitors will be using the site for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding.”
In 2011 the Bear Hydro Limited Partnership provided the SCRD the first payment of $26,000 as per the agreement. The second payment of $100,000 was due upon achievement of the commercial operations date.
“The Regional District and Regional Power completed a community benefit agreement that includes payments at specific milestones (such as the $100,000 at the commercial operation date) and ongoing annual payments adjusted by changes in energy price, which is set by the BC Utilities Commission,” added SCRD senior planner David Rafael.
The Bear Hydro project is located on Bear Creek, a stream that feeds into Clowhom Lake. It received an energy purchasing agreement in 2008 from BC Hydro. The project has two power stations, Upper Bear and Lower Bear, which have a total capacity of 20 megawatts.
“Regional Power is in the final stages of completing the Bear Creek hydroelectric projects. We are very proud of the high quality built into these projects along with our proposed environmental enhancement work,” said David Carter executive vice president Regional Power.
The SCRD held a public hearing in June 2008 and the board adopted a bylaw to rezone the power plant sites on Jan. 15, 2009.