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BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project will be a third dam and hydroelectric generating station on the Peace River in northeast B.C. It will provide 1,100 megawatts (MW) of capacity, and produce about 5,100 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity each year — enough energy to power the equivalent of about 450,000 homes per year in B.C.
Cheap and reliable electricity is a cornerstone of British Columbia’s economy. Today, B.C. has a chance to renew and extend the legacy that W.A.C. Bennett began in the 1960s when his government built massive dams and generating stations on the Peace and Columbia Rivers.
The Site C Clean Energy Project on the Peace would create a major new source of power, at a time when BC Hydro expects demand for power to leap with population growth and the development of a new liquefied natural gas export industry. The $7.9 billion Site C project does more than drive our exports. It creates prosperity for thousands of B.C. businesses and tens of thousands of workers. Construction of the dam and its generating station brings 10,000 person years of direct employment, and a total of 33,000 person years of work throughout the economy. Ultimately, everybody in B.C. has a stake.
Site C construction contributes $3.2 billion to provincial GDP, $130 million to regional GDP, and $40 million in tax revenues to local government. Once in operation, the positive effects continue. Renewable, clean and green power is a key asset in an increasingly competitive global economy, and Site C is a cost-effective option for maintaining that advantage. The election in 2013 was won on the notion of economic development and job creation. Voting in the government is an important first step, but we all have a responsibility to ensure that the project succeeds, and that our voices get heard.
What value would Site C bring to people and businesses if it is built? The Peace River dam option would result in lower costs for ratepayers than other clean energy options for the same amount of energy and capacity. Both the alternative portfolios would have higher costs than Site C over the lifetime of the projects. This would be consistent for all ratepayers – residential, commercial and industrial.
A key advantage of the Site C project is its location on the Peace River downstream of the existing W.A.C. Bennett and Peace Canyon dams and their respective Williston and Dinosaur reservoirs. This means Site C will be able to re-use the same water flowing downstream from the two upstream facilities and simply pass it along. More electricity with a smaller footprint on the land where Site C is located.
Approximately 10,000 person-years of work will be required to complete
construction of the project, with the labour force peaking at approximately
1,700 in year five of construction.
• Cement masons
• Environmental monitors
• Operating engineers
Large hydro projects, such as Site C, have a significant upfront capital cost, followed by low operating costs and a long life of more than 100 years. Site C has an estimated capital cost of $7.9 billion,
includes construction and development costs, inflation, contingencies and interest during construction. An external peer review by KPMG determined that both the process for developing the assumptions and the construction of the financial model used in the Site C cost estimate are appropriate.
The construction and operation of Site C would provide additional revenues to all levels government, helping to pay for key programs and services.
British Columbia’s legacy hydro generation assets in many cases date back half a century, yet continue to give industry, and individual users, an advantage over most North America service areas. The bar chart shows where B.C.’s large power consumers stood in 2013 in relation to a range of other jurisdictions. By building Site C, the province will be able to maintain competitive electricity rates in the future.
Site C would produce among the lowest levels of greenhouse gas emissions compared to other electricity-generation options.
Writing his recent article about the Site C hydropower project for the New York Times,...
Site C will create 10,000 person direct employment during construction. The types of jobs needed...