11/30/2012 12:40 EST | Updated 01/30/2013 05:12 EST

Hydro power plans considered for North Shore dams

Metro Vancouver directors will vote today on a plan to add turbines and generators at two North Shore dams.

North Vancouver mayor Darrell Mussatto says at this time of year the Capilano and Seymour watersheds have all the water they need and more.

"Periods like today when its pouring rain, we are spilling water, and there is an opportunity to generate power from that."

Mussatto says adding generators and turbines at the Cleveland Dam would be the first priority.

A 14-megawatt plant could be built by 2020 for about $90 million, but it would eventually pay for itself, he said.

"After about ten to fifteen years, we'll be able to take advantage of water being spilled, and it will be basically a free, green energy source for us."

The plant would produce enough electricity to power more than 6,000 homes and if it works well, a smaller plant would be built at Seymour Falls.

The projects would still require provincial approval and there would be several years of study and consultation before construction would begin.

The Cleveland Dam was completed in 1954 to store water for the Greater Vancouver Water District. The Seymour Falls Dam was completed in 1961 and recently underwent a seismic upgrade.