Leaders in Renewable Energy

Canadian Projects Limited

Since it was formed in May of 1999, Canadian Projects Limited has become one of the country’s most experienced, respected, and sought-after renewable energy engineering consultants.
With its primary focus on run-of-river hydro, wind and solar power projects, Canadian Projects is one of the nation’s leading renewable energy project delivery companies.

With a staff of 30, the company’s team includes civil, structural, and mechanical engineers, project managers and construction managers specializing in hydro, wind and solar. A strong client base, combined with decades of in-depth knowledge of all aspects of renewable energy, innovative design, and project execution, has enabled Canadian Projects to become an industry leader with worldwide recognition.

“We have over $3 billion of renewable energy projects that have been constructed with our involvement since 1999, which is a significant amount of project work for a small team,” says Paul Kemp, co-founder, President, and owner of Canadian Projects. With 32 years of related industry experience designing and building renewable energy and water resources projects in Canada, Mr. Kemp worked on a number of new hydro facilities and the upgrading and re-development of existing hydro plants, and has maintained a focus in civil engineering centred on water resources. Attaining his BSc in Civil Engineering from the University of Calgary, Mr. Kemp has held a number of positions, including Director of Water Resources at UMA Engineering Ltd., Project Engineer, Hydrotechnical for WER Engineering Ltd., and as an Engineer, Design & Construction for Monenco Ltd.

While working on a couple of hydro plants in Alberta and BC in the late 1990s, Mr. Kemp and his business partner decided to start their own consulting business, focused solely on renewable energy in Canada. With specialties in hydro electric engineering, renewable energy development, project management and engineering business management, they knew it was time to create a new type of renewable energy company in Canada.

“The renewable energy step was a natural progression of what I felt was the right type of engineering to pursue,” comments Mr. Kemp. “I enjoyed it, it met a lot of my personal objectives, and I think it was the right thing from a societal perspective as well. It just fit together.”

With headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, offices in Barrie, Ontario, and several project offices across the country, privately-owned Canadian Projects focuses on project management and engineering of commercial scale renewable energy developments throughout Canada.

With extensive and specialized knowledge of all aspects of renewable energy, its market, and players, Canadian Projects has the capability to provide clients with research strategies and relevant renewable development technologies. With an expansive knowledge of hydro, wind and solar platforms, the company prides itself on the diverse services it offers clients. From conducting project feasibility through to approvals support, project planning, design, construction, commissioning, reviews and operations support such as improving performance, fine-tuning operations, and addressing any issues, Canadian Projects works on all stages of project development. As a result of the company’s years of renewable energy experience, projects are often completed with reduced risk, in a shorter timeframe, and on budget.

“Our expertise covers a pretty broad range of the industry,” explains Mr. Kemp, “from rehabilitation of existing hydro facilities – some are almost 100 years old that we’re working on at the moment – to developing leading edge deployment techniques for the latest very low-head hydro turbines that are now being introduced to Canada.” Instrumental in the development of an extensive range of projects, from two megawatts to 200 megawatts, the consulting engineering firm continues to deliver superior services to the country’s hydro, wind and solar energy sectors.

Over the years, Canadian Projects has forged relationships with some of Canada’s most experienced technical partners and major equipment manufacturers. Through these established relationships, the company remains abreast of changes and developments in the renewable energy industry, and is able to provide specialist support to all its clients.

“About 80 percent of our activities are focused on hydro,” comments Mr. Kemp of the company, which has undertaken projects in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and the Northern Territories. “We’re pretty widely dispersed in that respect.” The company’s hydro electric developments have seen Canadian Projects provide project management, planning, engineering design and construction management services to various clients in the hydroelectric power sector. With a focus on Canadian independent hydro plant development, the company has planned, designed, and overseen construction of hydro plants ranging in size up to 100 megawatts with heads varying from three to 780 metres.

One of the company’s most recent projects is tapping the water and energy of Long Lake. Located near Stewart, British Columbia and the Alaska border, the Long Lake hydro project features an impressive vertical drop of 780 metres, one of the highest head hydro projects in North America. Engaged with the project for over ten years, Canadian Projects has been instrumental in a number of areas, ranging from permits and approvals support to engineering design, coordinating specialist geotechnical and other sub-consultants, and construction monitoring. Once completed, the drop will power two Pelton turbines at the $90 million project, which is anticipated to be completed next year.

With an impressive portfolio of hydroelectric projects, the company has undertaken work on new sites and upgrades to existing sites ranging from mountains to coastal valleys, large river systems, and the rocky Canadian Shield. One of them – the Bone Hydro Project – was a new hydroelectric development for Valisa Energy Incorporated. The 18 MW, $71 million job boasts a number of features, including an innovative stepped sheet-pile weir spillway and concrete headworks structure, and saw Canadian Projects in the roles of project management, engineering and construction management. With its main project components constructed in just eight months, the Bone Hydro Project has a 2.1 metre diameter steel penstock (which includes an air vacuum surge relief station), a 50 metre span penstock pipe bridge crossing Bone Creek, and a powerhouse which has first-of-kind energy dissipater wells for the full turbine flow scroll-case PRV bypass systems.

In the realm of wind power, Canadian Projects remains unsurpassed for its expertise in project planning, engineering design, project management, civil works, electricity market strategies, and the necessary experience to assist clients with regulatory agency approvals and associated requirements. “About two years ago, we completed two of the largest wind plants in Canada, each in the 200 MW size range,” says Mr. Kemp.

One project, for the Canadian Renewable Energy Corporation was the Wolfe Island Wind Project. Located on Wolfe Island near Kingston, Ontario, the massive $475 Million 198 MW undertaking saw Canadian Projects take responsibility for the site’s project management, engineering and construction management. Involving the supply and installation of 86 Siemens 2.3 MW Mark II turbines, the company was instrumental in managing all engineering and construction for the project, along with all of the transportation logistics and delivery of the turbine components from Denmark to the Island project site. Of note, the projects 8 km long, 245 kV submarine cable installed across the St. Lawrence River set a world record for this high-voltage cable. Taking on site investigation work for the client in 2006 and 2007, construction on the project commenced in the fall of 2008 and was completed in 2009.

For many of its clients, Canadian Projects will also assist in selecting the appropriate site. On hydro projects, sometimes 20 to 40 sites are identified by a developer, and projects are prioritized such that the developer is working on the highest value projects at any given time. By optimizing each project for the best physical and market conditions, developers are able to get the best return on their investment.

At Canadian Projects, the company’s work is mostly carried out for independent power producers. Many IPP’s are specifically focusing on developing renewable energy and selling to the grid, normally through provincial power acquisition programs under power purchase contract arrangements. In addition to providing project management, design, contract administration, construction management and other services, Canadian Projects also undertakes hydro facility upgrades and dam safety projects, including facility rehabilitation, dam break and flood inundation analysis.

For renewable energy projects like hydro, wind, and solar to continue to be successful, more emphasis needs to be placed on linking these sources to the electricity market. At present, in many jurisdictions, much of the focus is on technology, not market design, regulatory regime, or the actual education of new students focusing on this completely new market area. “You can have the best technology in the world, but if you do not have a market, or the people to apply that technology, or a regulatory regime to accommodate that technology, then this technology will not have an opportunity to grow,” says Mr. Kemp, adding that changes need to occur on all levels at an equal pace to achieve the objective of the transition.

Although green energy technologies often require high initial capital investment, renewable sources have the advantage of being able to provide electricity at competitive rates today, and support commitment to a price regime for 40 years or more, unlike more volatile fuel-based sources of energy such as gas. Many traditional (spot) energy markets currently pass on future fuel supply price risk to consumers whereas energy markets supplied by sustainable sources, such as hydro, have no fuel price risk.

“To have sustainable energy, you have to have a sustainable industry; to have sustainable industry, you have to have a sustainable energy market supported by a sustainable workforce through education and training, and you need a sustainable regulatory regime. All that together creates an industry,” says Mr. Kemp. “If we don’t make those changes across the board in synergy together, and we only do a bit in certain areas, we will not develop the long-term potential that we could have as a country in Canada. It’s a multi-faceted solution that has to occur, not necessarily just a market change, or just a technology change – it means a support across all facets of the infrastructure, energy markets, educational institutions and regulatory regime.”

January 23, 2019, 10:08 PM EST