Pocaterra Hydro Plant – Penstock pipeline pictures

After all-time record snowfall in the mountains, hiking sans snowshoes gets tricky in spots. The penstock pipeline at the Pocaterra Hydro Plant in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is still a very leaky woodstave and creates massive natural ice sculptures. I heard they’ll be replacing it this summer… so these views will soon be forgotten.

I believe the Pocaterra hydro plant is one of four hydro plants in Kananaskis, owned operated by TransAlta pipelines. The upgrade was awarded to Spirit Pipelines Ltd. in 2008, who reports that a new pipeline will be buried parallel to the existing wood stave. This would explain the epic trench that was dug next to it. Here’s a collection of pics of just how leaky the woodstave is for a low pressure pipeline. Spirit Pipelines claim that many bears in the area require “strategic management” 🙂 during the new pipeline construction.

The old woodstave and it’s steel sections will be removed. Construction is expected to resume in May 2012. Read more about the project here.

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