On June 19th, 50 engaged community members gathered to learn more about the updates to the Innavik Hydro Project. Panels were set up around the gym where people could see more detailed images of the new design of the hydro project and learn about the partnership between Pituvik and Innergex (a Quebec-based renewable energy developer).
Attendees also had an opportunity to hear from the project team - including environmental experts and lead engineers - and get answers to their most pressing concerns. These concerns included:
Water quality - Will water quality be affected by sediment created during construction? What about risks of increased mercury in the water?
Answer: The building techniques used ensure that there will be minimal sediment created. When there is sediment, it will be managed careful to ensure there is little to no impact. Mercury from hydro projects happens when vegetation is flooded and decomposes underwater. The Innavik project will flood only a very small amount of land (around 1 sq. Km.) and any vegetation in that area will be removed. Water quality will be continuously monitored throughout the construction and operation of the project.
Drinking water - Will the project cause problems for the drinking water we get from the Inuksuak River?
Answer: The design of the Innavik Project ensures that it will not affect our drinking water. Run-of-river means the water level past the project will stay at the height it has always been. Additionally, in the powerhouse (where the generators are), anywhere oil must be used to keep the turbines turning, we will use biodegradeable oils. We'll also add sensitive sensors that will notify us if there is a sudden change in oil levels, allowing us to take immediate action.
Impacts of ice - Will the project be able to withstand the large ice chunks that flow down the river in the spring?
Job opportunities - What jobs and contracting opportunities will be created during the construction and operation of Innavik?
Answer: The project team (Innergex and Pituvik) will work to ensure where ever possible, community members and local businesses are aware and eligible for employment, training, and contracting opportunities related to Innavik. We expect the project to create about 100 jobs during the construction phase. We will also ensure that it is local people who are employed as operators of the facility. You can see other benefits of the project by clicking here.
Profit - When will revenue start to be created by the project?
These and other important questions can be found on our FAQ page.
When leaving, 35 people filled out surveys about their experience and their impressions of the project. 34 out of the 35 surveys showed support for the project.
You can view the presentations and panels that were shown during the session by clicking here.
Here are some pictures from the session: