Renfrew Power Generation closer to $22 million loan
Steve Newman, Renfrew Mercury
November 27, 2012
Renfrew Power Generation has been around since the early 1900s, following the building of the lower power generating station in 1903 by Thomas Low. Renfrew’s upper station was built by the Town of Renfrew in 1911, but both stations are showing their age and need to be replaced sooner rather than later.
Hence, the move to construct a new Thomas Low Generating Station Project, with the help of a loan of more than $22.3 million to Renfrew Power Generation.
Monday night, council unanimously authorized the mayor and clerk to execute a financing and loan agreement with a Canadian chartered bank for the purpose of developing the Thomas Low project.
This means the town is serving as security for the full loan amount, but the loan is considered low risk.
It’s all considered a necessary next step in Renfrew Power Generation’s future on the Bonnechere River.
“It’s a first step in our future. It’s a big part,” Renfrew Power Generation general manager Peter Boldt told The Renfrew Mercury EMC.
The loan agreement is the most recent step in a process that has involved completion of a Ministry of the Environment environmental assessment, a Ministry of Natural Resources permit process, and the transitional agreement with the Ontario Power Authority. The OPA agreement will allow the transfer of operations from the current two generating stations in town to the new Thomas Low Generating Station.
It will be located next to the lower station and construction could start this spring, says Boldt. Construction is expected to take about 18 months.
“By the time we have this project up, the older plants will have had to have major overhauls,” admits the general manager.
Future power generation sources are expected to include development of a project at First Chute, located another 10 kilometres downriver in Horton Township.
RPG received formal support, from Renfrew council Monday night, to apply for Ontario Power Authority approval of a project at the first chute. RPG will be seeking the same formal support from Horton council.
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