Renewable Energy Development

Boreal is actively participating in the development of several renewable energy projects, including hydroelectric, solar, and wind. Our team has been spent more than a decade helping to advance projects throughout the Americas from concept through construction and into operation. Example areas of specialization include the following:

  • Site selection, resource assessment and conceptual design
  • Permitting, environmental studies and impact assessment
  • Stakeholder engagement & First Nations partnerships
  • Preliminary and detailed design & equipment selection
  • Capital/operating expenditures budget preparation
  • Final investment decision analysis 
  • Power purchase agreement negotiation 
  • Construction planning, tender documentation, procurement & construction management 
  • Operational improvements and engineering support 
  • Environmental/permit compliance and reporting 
  • Project condition assessment and refurbishment 
  • Acquisition/financing due diligence

Hydrological Assessment

Accurate, defensible hydrological assessment is fundamental to any water resources project. Boreal has significant expertise in this field and the work of our personnel has been used to justify the investment into hydroelectric developments totaling well above $1B. We incorporate both time-tested analysis methods and new, emergent techniques into our work and we maintain strong relationships with other leaders in this field. Our expertise in this field includes the following:

  • Resource assessment for hydroelectric generation projects
  • Determination of flows for ungauged catchments
  • Extension/infill of flow time-series data for short-term monitoring stations
  • Flood frequency analysis for project design or construction sequencing
  • Low-Flow frequency analysis
  • Rainfall/runoff analysis
  • Groundwater-surface water interaction
  • Snowpack and glacial storage assessment
  • Reservoir storage analysis and hydrologic routing
  • Catchment modeling using industry-standard software
  • Climate change effects & climate cycle analysis
  • Preparation of technical reports for various uses: Regulatory compliance, investment decision, stakeholder/partner communication, etc.

Hydrotechnical Engineering

Boreal has extensive experience designing hydraulic structures for water diversion projects, hydroelectric facilities, floodways and spillways, reservoir hydraulics, fish passage structures, sewers and outfalls, transportation infrastructure, and other uses. Our designs have effectively been installed on facilities throughout Western Canada and the United States.

Examples of services offered by us include:

  • Design and optimization of hydraulic structures, including: 
    • Water intakes 
    • Spillways 
    • Sluice gates 
    • Diversion weirs 
    • Penstocks/tunnels 
    • Tailraces
    • Canals 
    • Erosion protection 
    • Gates 
  • Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) and other hydro-dynamic modelling: 1D, 2D and 3D
  • Head loss design and performance analysis 
  • Design of flood protection structures, including evaluation of flood levels and embankment heights. 
  • Design and execution of civil rehabilitation works. Includes refurbishment/replacement of spillway gates and rubber dams, concrete and steel components, embankments and penstocks. 
  • Selection and evaluation of equipment, including gates, rubber dams, Obermeyer gates, instrumentation, actuation, etc. 
  • Optimization of civil designs, including quantity take-offs and alternate equipment specification. 
  • Sediment management: 
    • Evaluation of sediment inputs into reservoirs 
    • Design of sediment removal/exclusion systems 
    • Development of operational protocols to minimize sediment entrainment
  • Design of erosion mitigation and bank stabilization
  • Design of drainage structures for forestry roads, including culverts, swales and overtopping sections.

Dam Safety

Dam Safety is one of the core services offered by Boreal. Boreal’s president has initiated, developed and managed comprehensive Dam Safety programs for projects across Western Canada, including a portfolio of 20 hydroelectric dams operated by a major Canadian hydroelectric utility. We have worked on everything from Extreme Consequence hydroelectric reservoirs through to de-classification of Low Consequence dams. We stay current with local Dam Safety regulations, industry guidelines and protocols. We have strong working relationships within the Dam Safety community and partner with a variety of subject-matter experts as project specifics require.

Services offered in the field of Dam Safety include the following:

  • Dam failure consequence classifications, 
  • Dam breach and downstream inundation mapping, 
  • Dam emergency planning, 
  • Operation, maintenance and surveillance manual preparation, 
  • Annual formal inspections, 
  • Dam safety reviews, 
  • Implementation of corrective action, and 
  • Regulatory reporting and audit participation.

Environmental Management

Boreal has a broad background in environmental engineering and management. We have worked on fisheries habitat assessments and effects assessment, surface and sub-surface water quality assessment, waste management, acid rock drainage and metal leaching mitigation, contaminated site assessment and remediation, air quality monitoring and pollutant reduction, construction environmental management and Environmental Management System design, implementation and auditing. Industries served have included renewable and thermal energy generation, municipal stormwater and wastewater, mine sites, transportation infrastructure and oil and gas.

Examples of our Environmental Services include:

  • Hydraulic/hydrologic evaluation for fisheries habitat and effects assessments 
  • Evaluation of flow ramping and fish stranding potential 
  • Monitoring of Instream Flow Requirement releases 
  • Monitoring/auditing of environmental compliance during construction 
  • Steering of environmental baseline and impact assessment studies 
  • Regulatory permitting and follow-up compliance reporting 
  • Development of Construction Environmental Management Plans 
  • Design and execution of water quality sampling and soil sampling campaigns 
  • Installation of wells for monitoring of surficial groundwater quality and flow patterns 
  • Waste management design and operational monitoring/auditing