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  #21  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2010, 5:04 AM
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End of August is (in)decision time for the provincial government.

I'm confident the City will pursue the hydro facility. I'm not so sure the Province will fund the park project. They'll probably delay the decision until next summer just before the fall election -- or maybe they won't.

So construction could begin as early as 2015!
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  #22  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2010, 7:08 PM
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lol, Blackstrap!?! And who shuttered that facility?

Still confident on the hydro and pedestrian bridge. No comment from the provincial government says a lot about their attitude towards public parks.

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Whitewater talks continue
Opposition group calls project 'another Blackstrap in the making'
By David Hutton, The Star Phoenix August 25, 2010 Comments (2)

Two open houses in June didn't provide enough input to make a decision on the future of the whitewater park and hydro facility proposed for the weir, a city official says.

The city is now planning to hold another public forum in early October -- this time giving residents a chance to speak publicly -- before making a decision on whether to go forward with the next phase of study. The $2-million to $4-million study would provide a detailed examination of the project's feasibility and a more comprehensive environmental assessment.

The decision on whether to go to the next phase, initially slated for August, will be made before the end of the year, said Saskatoon Light and Power's Kevin Hudson.

"We heard a lot of feedback after those meetings that a lot of people want an open public forum for hearing their opinions and any concerns about those developments," Hudson said. "That was the reason we scheduled an additional meeting in October."

The estimated $65-million concept on the east side of the river at the weir includes a whitewater rafting course and a standing river wave for surfing -- funded by the province -- along with a hydroelectric facility and pedestrian walkway spanning the river and funded by the city. During the last year, groups with strong views supporting and opposing the redevelopment have sprung up, starting online petitions and websites.

The city will also be asking the province if it remains interested in cost-sharing the whitewater park portion of the next study. The city could still choose to go forward with the hydro project if the provincial government pulls out of the whitewater rafting park, but if the city chooses not to go further with hydropower the whitewater project would likely die.

The hydro project remains "technically and economically positive," but the final say goes to city council, Hudson said.

A group has formed to fight the weir redevelopment, listing a number of environmental, social, safety and cost issues with the project. In a letter the group calls the project "another Blackstrap in the making . . . another project for which increased tourism was touted as a panacea for complex financial problems," referring to the now-defunct ski hill south of Saskatoon.

The opportunity to speak up at a public forum wasn't allowed at the spring open houses so another chance to voice concerns is welcome, said John Penner, 60, the city's former urban design co-ordinator and a member of the protest group.

"It didn't allow for us to develop any kind of solidarity with other people that might be opposed to the whitewater project so it didn't allow us to find out what other people were thinking," Penner said. "They were promotional sessions and there was no chance to listen to the community's concerns."

The weir is one of the city's most popular public sites, Penner said, and the proposed development is out of sync with the existing use.

"It's one of the nicest public urban spaces in the city and the implications of building a whitewater facility and the hydro project is like it's turning it into kind've a recreational and industrial site," Penner said.

"It would be like if you were to put a manufacturing plant or a soccer field in the south downtown. It would have a significant impact on the existing enjoyment of the site."

dhutton@sp.canwest.com

© Copyright (c) The Star Phoenix

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  #23  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2010, 6:19 PM
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I haven't heard any news on the WaterPark/ Hydro project in a while.
Any updates?

I have some colleagues that are involved within that type of industry...
great project, just doesn't seem physically possible with our river flow.
It sounded like
-not strong enough water flow for BOTH hyrdo, standing wave & rapids course
-major $ for upkeep and wouldn't be able to draw hydro power from it year round (obviously can't be used for sports for many months out of the year)
-hydro power would cost many times more than regular electricity and would go on the same grid IE Who would pay more for green electricity knowing they are probably getting regular coal powered anyway...

I would love this project to go through and work perfect but I think it would be best to save the millions that would go into the research and building and put in a standing wave INDOORS so that we can use it all year round and give us something to do in the winter whereas there is no shortage of lakes, festivals etc during our few 'summer' months.
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  #24  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2010, 6:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyByrdProductions View Post
I haven't heard any news on the WaterPark/ Hydro project in a while.
Any updates?

I have some colleagues that are involved within that type of industry...
great project, just doesn't seem physically possible with our river flow.
It sounded like
-not strong enough water flow for BOTH hyrdo, standing wave & rapids course
-major $ for upkeep and wouldn't be able to draw hydro power from it year round (obviously can't be used for sports for many months out of the year)
-hydro power would cost many times more than regular electricity and would go on the same grid IE Who would pay more for green electricity knowing they are probably getting regular coal powered anyway...

I would love this project to go through and work perfect but I think it would be best to save the millions that would go into the research and building and put in a standing wave INDOORS so that we can use it all year round and give us something to do in the winter whereas there is no shortage of lakes, festivals etc during our few 'summer' months.
I would prefer the white water rapids to go through over the generation station. I think Saskatoon's alternative energy source is going to come from wind power. It is one of the windiest spots in the country, it only makes sense to harvest it.
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  #25  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2010, 3:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyByrdProductions View Post
-not strong enough water flow for BOTH hyrdo, standing wave & rapids course
-major $ for upkeep and wouldn't be able to draw hydro power from it year round (obviously can't be used for sports for many months out of the year)
-hydro power would cost many times more than regular electricity and would go on the same grid IE Who would pay more for green electricity knowing they are probably getting regular coal powered anyway...
EarlyByrd I'm sorry but I have to disagree with these three points:

1) the pre-feasibilty study concluded that you can have all three http://backoffice/DEPARTMENTS/City%2...easibility.pdf

2)Why couldn't you draw power all year? Though you might be right about upkeep costs.

3)Saskatoon as far as I can tell doesn't draw power generated by coal, the peak load from Saskatoon Light and Power is 207MW though they don't service the whole city so you could say maybe 400MW. QE is natural gas and produces 218MW Cory Cogeneration Station is Natural Gas and produces 260MW and the next closest station is Coteau Creek at Diefenbaker producing 186MW. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...n_Saskatchewan


As for the indoor park it would be more useful, some friends of mine did a bunch of work in university on a similar indoor park, they estimated the costs to be $20million to build the facility not including land price and that was at construction prices from 7 years ago. Plus then you have to use a ton of energy pumping water instead of just using what's already going by.
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  #26  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2010, 4:00 PM
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I haven't read the study, but $50 million for a tiny hydro facility seems prohibitive even by renewable energy standards. For example the Red Lily Wind Farm currently under construction will cost $67 million but produce 20 times the electricity.
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