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Power up Duncan Dam, residents say

The view from the Duncan Dam lookout. Residents who attended a meeting in Meadow Creek last week supported making the dam into a power producer. - Greg Nesteroff photo
The view from the Duncan Dam lookout. Residents who attended a meeting in Meadow Creek last week supported making the dam into a power producer.
— image credit: Greg Nesteroff photo

The president of Columbia Power Corporation says the 50 or so people who came to a public meeting in Meadow Creek last week strongly supported turning the Duncan Dam into a power producer.

“I think there was broad support,” Jane Bird told the Star. “I think everyone recognized — and we reinforced — that it’s early days. We’ve barely finished a pre-feasibility level of work. But their preliminary view was supportive, so that was encouraging.”

The BC Hydro-owned dam, completed in 1967 as part of the Columbia River Treaty, has no generators. It’s purely a storage facility, controlling the Duncan River’s flow into Kootenay Lake.

Columbia Power is in the midst of community consultation on what hydroelectric project it should tackle once the Waneta expansion project wraps up in 2015. In addition to Duncan, it has been eyeing the small Elko dam in East Kootenay.

Bird spoke to the Regional District of Central Kootenay board on Thursday. Regional director Andy Shadrack, whose area includes the Duncan Dam, told Bird he was pleased Columbia Power is also looking at investing in fish enhancement on the Lardeau River.

Did you attend the public meeting last week in Meadow Creek? Share your thoughts with us: reporter2(at)nelsonstar.com.

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