More Big Changes in Nanaimo

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or just plain haven’t come to Nanaimo, you will have noticed some big changes around Nanaimo in recent times. The new cruise ship berth which has recently injected huge crowds of people at a time into our downtown area, the seventy two million dollar conference centre, the Nanaimo Ice Centre a few years before that, the college becoming a full fledged university and the airport expansion not to mention a variety of new retail and residential expansions. It doesn’t look like the 5,000 seat sports arena is on the books for anytime soon but all of these changes plus all the rezoning and replanning from city hall (pushing for densification) are a sure sign that Nanaimo is becoming more than a small town on Vancouver Island. We’re a small city… that is next to a big city but also next to nature.

Anyhow, here is a news story that I came across this week that talks about a new project that is being looked into.

Ryan Coffey

Nanaimo negotiates power generation with B.C. Hydro

The Daily News June 4, 2011

Nanaimo city council moved ahead with its plan to negotiate a deal with B.C. Hydro to sell energy created from the city’s new No. 1 reservoir power generator.

The new reservoir is a component of the city’s plans for a $65-million water-treatment plant. The power generation could produce up to $175,000 in annual revenue. Power generation will come from the 14-million-litre reservoir to be built at the west corner of the Colliery Dam Park next to Nanaimo Lakes Road and the Nanaimo Parkway.

New regulations for drinking water were introduced by the Vancouver Island Health Authority, forcing the city to bump up plans for a new treatment facility. The new reservoir will cost an additional $7.5 million.

A hydro generator will cost $670,000 to install, but 900 kilowatt hours created per year will generate about $190,000. Minus the $15,000 in annual operational costs, the city could pay recoup the cost in four years.

Detailed design plans could be ready in about a year, but Nanaimo’s water resources manager expects construction to start early in 2013. The plant should be fully operational in 2015.