Small-hydro generation at the Burritts Rapids dam site
In the pursuit of modern-day small-hydro generation, our community views itself as an integral part and a steward of the cultural heritage and natural beauty of the Rideau waterway. Community-driven power generation at the BR dam will respect the integrity and values of the Canadian Heritage Rideau River and UNESCO World Heritage Site designations. This project will work within the Parks Canada Management Plan and the Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy and with its Steering Committee.
The vision, energy, and activities of BRREA flow from the committed work of community volunteers since 2005, especially the Working Group for Micro-Hydro Generation of the BRCA and interested residents and experts. The Board appreciates the growing number of volunteers who are helping with research, technical advice, funding, communications and community involvement, and technical and administrative assistance.
Updates on the small-hydro generation project at the Burritts Rapids Dam site are issued periodically to local media and are placed on the website.
The Burritts Rapids Renewable Energy Association (BRREA) obtained a priority permit from Parks Canada on 29 August 2011 for the community to investigate the installation of a small hydroelectricity facility at the dam site within the village on the Rideau River. While holding the priority permit BRREA will complete the engineering studies, survey available generators and conduct an environmental assessment.
The engineering studies will determine the best generator technology for the dam site and provide details on construction and operations. If these studies confirm that power generation from the dam site is feasible and financially viable, then a federal environmental assessment will be undertaken, which includes outreach and consultation with the community and other interested and affected parties.
Funding and Investment
Funding from the Eastern Ontario Development Program has been received and was used for an engineering feasability study that was completed early in 2013 and a FIT application was made during the recent small FIT window. An application to EODP to fund a “class” environmental assessment has been submitted. BRREA is seeking key collaborative arrangements with governmental agencies and wishes to establish government and/or private sector participation to finance and implement this small hydro project. Additional funding is essential for community projects, such as this one, in order to move ahead.
There are a number of ways that community members can get involved in the BRREA hydroelectricity project. Firstly, volunteers with communication, project management, legal, engineering, and other skills are encouraged to join BRREA and help in the next stage of project development. Secondly, the community will be consulted during the environmental assessment and interested and affected community members are encouraged to attend these meetings and share their ideas and concerns. Finaly, there may be an opportunity for community members to invest in the project and interested people are encouraged to consider this as the project moves forward.
If you are interested in joining this volunteer group at this busy time in implementing its first renewable energy project, please contact the Chairperson, at email@example.com.