The Sechelt Creek hydro project, developed and operated by Regional Power, won the 2005 UNESCO International Hydropower Association (IHA) Blue Planet Prize at the United Nations Conference of parties on Climate Change in Montreal on December 4, 2005.
The Sechelt Creek project was one of three Blue Planet Prize winners recognized for excellence in sustainable hydropower development. The project was specifically acknowledged for its social, environmental, and technical excellence. It was only with the significant contribution of The Sechelt (shíshálh) First Nation that the project was a successful candidate for the Prize. Regional Power and other stakeholders express their sincere gratitude and thanks to The Sechelt (shíshálh) First Nation for their contribution and cooperation.
In awarding the Prize, the International Panel of Judges and the Jury, made up of representatives of UNESCO and the IHA, said:
- the Sechelt Creek project “re-established a thriving salmon run. An important element for the scheme is the partnership with The Sechelt (shíshálh) First Nation and fisheries authorities, leading to benefits for the local community and the environment.”
- the project “incorporated technical innovation in synergy with the local environment in a remote part of Canada.”
The Sechelt Creek project is a 16 MW facility designed, developed and built by Regional Power. It began operating in 1997 and sells all its electricity to BC Hydro under a long term contract. It supplies enough electricity for a community of 9,000 homes. The Sechelt Creek project was acquired by the Clean Power Income Fund (subsequently acquired by Capstone Infrastructure) in 2001 and continues to be operated by Regional Power under a long term operating agreement.
What is Blue Planet Prize?
The Blue Planet Prize is awarded every two years by the IHA to recognize excellence in sustainable practices, in both development and operations, of hydropower facilities in operation for a minimum of three years.
The aim of the Prize is to increase awareness of hydropower’s contribution to sustainable development and the welfare of mankind, and to promote good practice in the use of the world’s hydropower resources.
The prize recognizes good practice in the development and operation of a hydropower scheme, on the basis of TECHNICAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL and ENVIRONMENTAL criteria, and excellence in one or more of these aspects.
Who is IHA?
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-governmental mutual association of organizations and professionals working or studying in the hydropower sector. It was founded in 1995 under the auspices of UNESCO, with the aim to advance knowledge on all aspects of hydropower. The IHA has 1800 members representing more than 80 countries.