Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
The ‘Top 20’
Innavik Hydro Electric Project-Inukjuak
1.What is the Innavik Hydro Electric Project? The Innavik Hydro Electric Project is a small hydro electricity generating station being developed for the village of Inukjuak by the Pituvik Landholding Corporation (Pituvik) approximately 10.3 km (Map dot PK 10,3) from the community at the ‘Katattukallak’ site. The project is an opportunity for Inukjuak to develop a clean energy project to reduce diesel fuel consumption and to promote sustainable economic development for the Inuit beneficiaries and residents in the community of Inukjuak . 2.What stage is the project at? Pituvik has taken a step-by-step approach with the project. From 2005-07, Pituvik assessed the potential of various sources of renewable energy, and only small hydro was proven to be viable. In 2007, Pituvik commissioned a Pre-Feasibility Study that examined hydro sites, and related environmental and economic factors. This study was taken to the community in April 2008 at an Open Meeting of Inuit Beneficiaries that approved conducting a Feasibility Study on the Katattukallak site on the Inukjuak River. The Feasibility Study has been is completed and presented to the Inuit beneficiaries of Inukjuak. A BENEFICIARIES VOTE TO APPROVE GOING TO THE CONSTRUCTION STAGE OF THE PROJECT WILL BE HELD IN THE COMMUNITY STARTING IN MID-MARCH 2010. 3.How will electricity generated by the Innavik Project be used? There will be no change to the billing, pricing and electricity supply to Inukjuak. This will continue to be the responsibility of Hydro Quebec. Hydro electricity generated by the Innavik Project will be sold from Pituvik to Hydro Quebec at a price to be negotiated in a Power Purchase Agreement. Hydro Quebec will use hydropower to reduce diesel power electricity for the community, and there is also a plan to use hydropower from Innavik to replace oil and water heating in the community. These actions will dramatically reduce Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) which cause Climate Change. 4.How is hydroelectricity produced? Electricity is produced when water spins a turbine, that in turn spins a generator connected to it. The higher the head or fall of river-water, (meaning: the difference in water levels from upstream to downstream into the turbine and generator), the more energy is made. In addition, the stronger the water flow in the turbines, the higher the production of electricity. Please see explanations linked to the Pituvik Website. 5.Will the Innavik Project have an impact on the Inukjuak River’s ecosystem and fish? Environmental impacts have been considered right from the start of the pre-feasibility study, and a detailedEnvironmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been completed and filed with the Kativik Environment Quality Commission, Environment Quebec and Canadian regulatory authorities. Fishing and fish habitat factors were established at the end of summer 2008 through testing on the Inukjuak River. Elders were also consulted to benefit from their traditional knowledge of the river and fishing. There will be an improvement in fish habitat: while some spawning beds will be impacted, new and larger spawning beds will also be constructed. 6.Will Inukjuak’s water supply and quality be affected in any way by the project? A number of precautions are being taken to ensure Inukjuak’s water supply and quantity is protected. Lubricants and other chemicals will only be used in the power-house and therefore will not be in direct contact with water. There shall be systems to recover all chemicals in the power-house so there is no impact on the river. The project team is also investigating the use of natural, bio-degradable lubricants for the turbines. Water quality will be measured on an on-going everyday basis. If there is any reduction in water quality a Back-Up Water Source and System for the community’s water supply will be put in place immediately as a part of the Innavik Project. 7.Will there be a dam on the Inukjuak River? The project plan does call for an over-flow weir (dam) at a site on the river 10.3 km from the community. The upstream pond is projected to increase water levels only moderately: in the order of 12-13 meters higher. The main purpose of the weir is to raise the upstream water level to save some water to generate power in the winter months. The flooding zone will be about 3.1 kilometers long. (Map dot PK 10,3 up to below falls at dot PK 13,3 - Old red shack used to be there. 8.Will people be able to cross over to the other side of the river? Yes. The plan is to have a small bridge downstream from the project where the river narrows. The structure will be designed to accommodate small vehicles (Honda’s, Ski-Doo’s) so that residents can cross to the south side of the Inukjuak River. 9.Are there any environmental risks to the project such as mercury in the water? No environmental risk from the project is allowed according to the project plan, and the environmental laws of Quebec and Canada. For example, mercury is produced by the decomposition and rotting of vegetation or is naturally present in small quantities in the soil and is only a problem when reservoirs are very large (such as in the James Bay Project). With the Innavik Project, there is very limited vegetation covered by the small reservoir, and water does not remain more than a few days in the reservoir. Experience shows that with these conditions, mercury will not increase. 10.Will there be any impact from the hydro project on wild life? The environmental impact process will assess the how best to protect wild life along the river, including migrating caribou. The design of the project will seek to minimize any potential impacts. 11.Who will own the Innavik Project? Pituvik will be the 100% owner of the Innavik Project. During the first 20-25 years, the project will be obliged to use the majority of income to pay back debt used to 1. build the dam, 2. generating facility and 3. transmission lines.
12.How will the Innavik Project be put in place? The Innavik Project will be put in place through a Public Private Partnership. Pituvik has a private partnership with Groupe RSW (engineering) and Lumos Energy (project strategy) acting as Development Partners for the project. Further private partners are expected, and will be selected through an open bidding process to select construction, financing and operating companies for the project. 13.Will the project change the flow of the river or affect sediments deposition in the estuary? The project Innavik is a typical, run-of-river project. This means that at any given time, all the water flowing in the river will continue to flow in the river, with the exception of the segment of river between the weir and the tailrace canal of the powerhouse. In this section, the water will flow in the penstock, through the turbines and then back into the river. Downstream from the powerhouse, therefore, the flow will always be the natural flow. No change to the sedimentation process in the estuary is expected. There will always be water flowing in the river. 14.How is the Innavik project being funded with $$$? Pituvik has made investments in developing the project during the Pre-Feasibility and Feasibility Study stages. The Landholding Corporation has also found support from the government of Canada and Kativik Regional Government (KRG). Requests for support from the Quebec government are being developed. In addition, in-depth discussions are underway with Public Private Partnerships (P3) Canada, a federal government agency to determine how the agency might support the project’s Public Private Partnership. 15.Who benefits from the Innavik Hydro Electric Project? The Innavik project was started by the Pituvik Landholding Corporation for the community of Inukjuak. The project will provide economic and social benefits for Inuit beneficiaries and all community residents in Inukjuak. There will be no direct compensation to individuals, but reinvested funds from the project back into Inukjuak will generate economic and social improvements that will benefit all residents of Inukjuak. It is our project. 16.Are there environmental benefits from the Innavik Project? Yes. By replacing diesel fuel used to generate electricity and, over time, introducing electricity for space heating, the Innavik Project reduces the community’s dependence and addiction on fossil fuels, and dramatically reduces the amount of Greenhouse Gases emitted from power generation and space heating. 17.Will there be jobs and contract opportunities during construction and after? Yes. The project will try to maximize the construction jobs and contract opportunities during construction in such areas as: trades, construction support, logistics, catering and others. Post construction 3-5 personnel will be required to operate and maintain the system. 18.Are the technologies “proven” that will be used in the Innavik Project? Yes. The Innavik Project will utilize a design and technologies for small hydro power that have been proven for decades, including in northern regions and in climates like Nunavik’s. The project will emphasize safety and reliability to ensure that the community’s power supply is maintained. The project plan includes a number of back-up provisions such as 2 hydro electric turbines, and double tracking of transmission lines. 19.What is the plan to use hydro power for space and water heating? Pituvik will shortly begin discussions with the local and Kativik Housing Bureaus, as well as the Société de Habitation on how hydro- power can replace diesel fuel-based water and space heating. The final plan in this area will include consultations with local residents. 20.Are there opportunities to get involved with the Innavik Project? Absolutely! Pituvik plans to hold regular information sessions about the project, including call-in programs on the community’s radio station and presentations at the school. The Feasibility Study has also identified employment needs, and work with organizations like the Pigiursavik Adult Training Centre in Inukjuak to determine how residents can be trained for jobs in the project. If you’d like to be involved with the Innavik Project, contact Pituvik. The Project Team for the Innavik Team would be pleased to respond to questions and issues concerning the Hydro Electric Project from the residents of Inukjuak, the region of Nunavik, and any stakeholders. Questions can be addressed to: Innavik.firstname.lastname@example.org, or through a call to the Pituvik Landholding Corporation office at: 819-254-8101.
Innavik Frequently Asked Questions