It’s a done deal.
Cayoose Creek Development Corp. (CCDC), the economic arm of Sekw'el'was Cayoose Creek Indian Band, announced Feb. 26 the completion of the Walden North Hydroelectric project acquisition in partnership with Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.
The newly formed partnership Cayoose Creek Power LP, acquired the 16-megawatt run-of-river facility from FortisBC for a final total purchase price of $9.2 million.
The Walden North project is located on Cayoosh Creek just south of Lillooet off Highway 99.
“This is only the beginning of our ascent towards re-establishing a thriving local economy like the rich history our ancestors had,” stated Sekw'el'was Chief Michelle Edwards. “There are many long-term benefits for Cayoose and other St’at’imc communities, as well as the local Lillooet community. We feel there is a lot of focus on larger developments throughout the province, with small communities like Lillooet being forgotten or overlooked.”
The Walden North facility and surrounding estate is in the forefront of further opportunities for Sekw'el'was Cayoose Creek Band. The estate itself is a multi-use property and with both archaeological and commercial value, fits into the community’s greater economic vision.
“This effort was indeed all hands on deck,” noted Akemi Siu, Chief Executive Officer for CCDC. “Cayoose leadership was consistently strong and disciplined while working towards agreements with significant players in the B.C. energy sector. Ownership of a significant revenue-generating asset is the result of this amazing dedication.”
Cayoose Creek Development Corp. (CCDC) is responsible for the oversight and development of its revenue generating assets, acquisitions and creation of business opportunities for the community.
Sekw’el’was is a community of just under 200 people and is a member of the St’at’imc Nation.
Innergex is a leading Canadian independent renewable power producer. It has has been active since 1990 in developing, owning and operating run-of-river hydroelectric facilities, wind farms, and solar photovoltaic farms with operations in Québec, Ontario, British Columbia, and Idaho, USA. It is a North American leader in renewable energy with 716 MW of installed capacity.
Walden North was built by reclusive American millionaire prospector Vernon Pick, who first came to Lillooet in 1971.
Pick’s 100-acre Walden North complex included a hydroelectric dam, powerhouse, craft and woodworking shop, garage and repair shop, welding and electrical shops, and a lab for electronic research and development. The property also included Pick’s elegant home, reached by a tramway, and staff housing.
The property went through numerous changes in ownership before it was acquired in 2004 by Fortis Generation as part of the assets of FortisBC. According to the Fortis website, the Walden North hydroelectric generating plant sells its entire output to BC Hydro under a long-term contract.