The Canadian developer welcomed the review step for the 1027MW scheme, announced by the country’s Environment Minister, Jim Prentice. It added that there would be co-ordinated federal and provincial review processes for the scheme.

The Bute Inlet scheme is located over the catchments of the Homathko, Southgate and Orford rivers, and involves construction of 17 run-of-river plants.

Plutonic’s development schedule aims for its initial application for an environmental assessment certificate to be made next year.

Previously, the company said that 18 sites were planned for the Bute Inlet scheme, which is the dominant part of the joint venture development work being undertaken by Plutonic in collaboration with GE Energy Financial Services.

The partners are already developing the 196MW East Toba/Montrose Creek scheme, and both Bute Inlet and also three plants planned for Upper Toba Valley are the main elements of their proposed expansion plan. Plutonic recently announced that it had received a provisional environmental assessment certificate for the 166MW Upper Toba Valley scheme.

Plutonic also recently released its first quarter results, which showed a net loss of Can11.3M (US$9.9M) against a net loss for the same period last year of Can$2.7M (US$2.4M).

The bulk of the net loss arose from non-cash costs, including share-based compensation and guarantee fees, respectively, as well as write off of development costs, and an adjustment to the partnership agreement with GE concerning fair value of interest rate swap contracts.