CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 28, 2010) - AltaGas Income Trust (AltaGas or the Trust) (TSX:ALA.UN) today announced that it has, through an indirect wholly owned subsidiary, signed a 60-year CPI indexed Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA) with BC Hydro for its 195-MW Forrest Kerr run-of-river hydro-electricity generation project. The construction site is located in northwest British Columbia, approximately 100 km north of Stewart, BC. AltaGas expects the Forrest Kerr Project to be the first of three run-of-river power generation projects in the area, and is continuing development of its McLymont Creek and Volcano Creek projects.
"The Forrest Kerr Project represents an important evolution in AltaGas' power business as we continue to build long-term contracted generation assets," said David Cornhill, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AltaGas. "These projects will provide the people of British Columbia with clean and reliable power from a significant water resource. For our investors, this announcement comes at an important time in history as governments move to reduce emissions while building for the future."
The Forrest Kerr Project is to be constructed wholly within Tahltan Nation traditional territory and is estimated to cost a total of approximately $700 million. Once completed, the project will provide enough electricity for approximately 70,000 homes in British Columbia and will offset more than 450,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas equivalents annually. The Forrest Kerr Project is expected to come into service in 2014 and will deliver electricity to the terminus point of the previously announced 287-kV Northwest Transmission Line (NTL), near Bob Quinn, BC. The British Columbia Transmission Corporation is developing the NTL.
The Forrest Kerr Project will channel a portion of the Iskut River flow through a tunnel to an underground powerhouse, where it will pass through turbines to produce electricity, before it is returned to the river. The Forrest Kerr Project was issued an environment assessment certificate in March 2010. Site development activities are currently underway and AltaGas anticipates initiating construction immediately.
"This project represents an exciting partnership for AltaGas with the Tahltan Nation and with the Government of British Columbia," added Mr. Cornhill. "The Forrest Kerr Project will be a significant renewable energy asset, and is supported by 40 years of hydrology data and analysis."
AltaGas and the Tahltan Nation have established a strong working relationship that will see the people of the Tahltan Nation having employment and business opportunities and economic participation in the Forrest Kerr Project.
"The Tahltan Nation is proud of this Impact Benefit Agreement with Coast Mountain Hydro Corp. and the increased economic security that it will provide for generations to come," said Annita McPhee, Chair, Tahltan Central Council. "This agreement establishes ownership, management of our resources and profit sharing while taking into consideration the protection of our environment as a renewable energy project. This IBA will set the bar for resource development projects and demonstrates the results of a successful relationship with a company in Tahltan Territory that respects our Aboriginal title and rights"
More information on the Forrest Kerr Projects is available on AltaGas' website at http://www.altagas.ca/forrestkerr/
AltaGas Income Trust is one of Canada's largest and fastest growing energy infrastructure organizations. The Trust creates value by acquiring, growing and optimizing gas and power infrastructure, including a focus on renewable energy sources.
AltaGas Income Trust's units are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ALA.UN. The Trust is included in the S&P/TSX Composite Index, the S&P/TSX Income Trust Index and the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Trust Index.
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