The City of North Battleford has finally approved an agreement to provide wastewater from its treatment plant to Northland Power for its new power generation plant.
The treated effluent water supply/discharge agreement was approved unanimously at a special meeting of council held Wednesday, July 7.
The vote rubber-stamped an agreement in principle already in place. Administration had been talking to Northland Power for over a year about the city possibly supplying effluent water to meet the plants cooling needs.
Among the highlights of the agreement outlined in a memo to city councillors from Director of Business Development Denis Lavertu, Northland Power will be responsible for all costs with respect to design and construction of the required treated effluent system. Costs to the City related to design and construction and capital upgrades are to be reimbursed by Northland Power, provided those are approved in advance.
Ownership and operation of the required systems will be on a leased site within the City's wastewater treatment plant.
The power plant has agreed to also share the costs of an equalization pond expansion at the wastewater treatment plant to handle the supply and return of treated effluent.
The effluent water supply and return flows will be metered for billing, to be charged out at 25 per cent of the standard meter rate for potable water and 100 percent of the standard rates for waste water/sewage disposal. At projected volumes it is estimated annual revenues could be $259,000 annually based on 2010 rates.
Finally, decommissioning and removing the system at the conclusion of the term will rest with the power plant, with the city getting a first right of refusal.
According to Lavertu's memo, the agreement will form the principles for the development of a more detailed agreement later on.
Council approved the agreement unanimously at the special meeting and councillors had good things to say about the arrangement.
Councillor Grace Lang called it a great example of a company coming into the community and working with the community, while Councillor Ron Crush also commended the deal.
"This is a win-win thing," Crush said of the agreement, "and I appreciate that we had the opportunity to do this."
That sentiment was echoed by Lavertu, who said the agreement "simplifies environmental requirements for Northland and means extra additional revenue for the City."
Construction is underway for the Northland Power plant, a $700 million natural gas fired facility a few kilometres southeast of the city located in the RM of North Battleford. Work on the plant could end up employing upwards of 500 to 600 people.