St. Catharines Hydro ends Shickluna project

St. Catharines Hydro is confirming what the Mayor announced in his State of the City Address.

The hydro board saying it will no longer pursue the Shickluna Generating Station, a run-of-the river hydro generating station planned for Twelve Mile Creek.

At a special hydro shareholder meeting on Monday, St. Catharines City Council directed the utility to cease all work on the project and take actions to mitigate any losses. 

The City of St. Catharines is the sole shareholder of St. Catharines Hydro.

Chair of the Board Bob Marshall says Shickluna was an ambitious project which brought with it potential benefits and risks.

He says while the benefits had long out-weighted the risks, more recent developments have cast doubt on whether the investment was in the best interest of St. Catharines and its citizens.

St. Catharines Hydro has been working to bring the Shickluna project to fruition for close to 10 years. 

In 2014 the Province of Ontario agreed to a 40-year contract to purchase energy generated at the facility. 

However the construction costs are higher than initially projected and the board has concluded the project is no longer viable.

As the only shareholder of St. Catharines Hydro, the City of St. Catharines would have received dividends between $800,000 and $1 million annually once Shickluna was operational.

Mayor Walter Sendzik says that he understands the need to find alternative revenue sources that do not put additional burden on taxpayers.

He says Shickluna no longer represents a potential revenue source for the City and it would be irresponsible for it to move forward.