The Brilliant Expansion Generating Station produces low impact renewable electricity that is EcoLogo certified under 2006 CCD-003. The project results in positive environmental benefits by directing water through the powerhouse instead of spilling it over the Brilliant Dam which reduces downstream Total Gas Pressure (TGP) levels which are harmful to fish. A number of post-project monitoring studies are being concluded to verify that the project does not have a negative environmental impact. The Slocan River Rainbow Trout Habitat Enhancement Program is ongoing to offset the ongoing entrainment of fish through the facility.
Environmental Programs as a Result of the Brilliant Expansion Generating Station
Slocan River Rainbow Trout Habitat Enhancement Project
This program consists of two components: 15 in-stream fish habitat structures in the Slocan River and riparian restoration component along the shoreline of the Slocan River. The structures are intended to increase the rainbow trout population by 250 rainbow trout. The fish habitat structures have been in place since 2004. The riparian program provides grants on an annual basis to landowners and community partners doing riparian restoration and/or enhancement projects on the Slocan River.
The program is delivered in partnership with the Slocan River Streamkeepers. A formal evaluation of the program’s effectiveness to date is scheduled to start in 2013. This program is part of the Brilliant Expansion Project Fish and Fish Habitat Compensation Program to compensate for fish entrainment mortality through the Brilliant Expansion Generating Station.
- Slocan River Rainbow Trout Habitat Enhancement Project – Terms of Reference
- Slocan River Rainbow Trout Habitat Enhancement Project – Application Form
- Slocan River Streamkeepers
Brilliant Expansion Benthic Productivity Study
This study is monitoring seasonal recovery rates of the benthic community (i.e. periphyton and benthic invertebrates) in the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers. The goal of this study is to verify the original parameters and update the aquatic productivity model to enable it to be used in future water management planning decisions. This study is a post-project monitoring requirement of the Brilliant Expansion Project Approval Certificate and Fisheries Authorization.
Brilliant Expansion Sturgeon Monitoring
Columbia Power conducts studies to better understand sturgeon behaviour in the vicinity of Brilliant Dam and Expansion and the potential impacts of facility operation on sturgeon. There are a number of sonic telemetry receivers placed below the Brilliant Dam and Expansion to monitor the movement of sonic tagged sturgeon. The Brilliant Expansion also has installed underwater cameras on the downstream end of its water passage to monitor sturgeon behaviour around the facility when it is not running.
Lower Columbia River Fish Stranding Assessment and Ramping Protocol
Columbia Power participates in this Protocol managed by BC Hydro to assess and mitigate fish stranding due to hydro operations downstream of the Brilliant Dam & Generating Station and the Brilliant Expansion Generating Station (as well as via BC Hydro’s Hugh Keenleyside Dam on the Columbia River).