The Rutherford Creek Hydroelectric Project, which is owned by Innergex, is a 50 MW run-of-river facility located on Rutherford Creek, 10 km southwest of Pemberton, British Columbia. The project comprises a run-of-river intake with 3-m-high inflatable rubber dam and vortex desander, 9 km of buried water conveyance pipelines (including both Weholite – HDPE pipe and buried steel penstock), and a surface powerhouse with two vertical axis 6-jet Pelton units. It is interconnected to the BC Hydro grid via a 230 kV transmission line. The average annual production of electricity is 180,000 MWh.
A unique feature of the development is the incorporation of an artificial 650-m-long whitewater kayaking facility in compensation for a reduced number of whitewater kayaking days within the diversion reach of Rutherford Creek. This whitewater kayaking facility was built downstream of the powerhouse tailrace and is used for both national and provincial slalom kayaking championships.
Knight Piésold completed all the preliminary engineering and project permitting and assisted the owner with consultation and information sharing activities with the Lil’wat First Nation. Lil’wat First Nation members were integrated with Knight Piésold’s field team when carrying out hydrological gauging and environmental studies.
Knight Piésold supported Innergex in all project development phases, and then acted as the lead designer for the EPC contractor, Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co. The project was completed on time and on budget, under an engineer-procure-construct (EPC) contractual agreement.