BC Hydro offers update on 1,100-MW Site C hydro project

Work is progressing well on development of the 1,100-MW Site C hydroelectric project by BC Hydro in British Columbia near the City of St. John.

There were 1,721 people working on the Site C project, as of July, BC Hydro said in a update posted Sept. 12 o its website.

The project is being built to meet future electricity needs in B.C. by providing 1,100 MW of dependable capacity, and generating about 5,100 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy each year – enough to power the equivalent of 450,000 homes per year, BC Hydro said in its summary.

As the third project on one river system, Site C will use water already stored behind the existing W.A.C. Bennett Dam in the Williston Reservoir to generate about 35% of the Bennett Dam’s energy, with only 5% of the reservoir area.

The cost estimate is C $8.335bn, plus a project reserve of $440m held by the Treasury Board to account for events outside of BC Hydro’s control (such as higher than forecast inflation or interest rates). As of March 31, the project has spent $950m.

BC Hydro has financial commitments – contracts and agreements – for the Site C project totaling more than $4bn.

The construction of Site C started in July 2015 and will be completed in 2024. In the first year of construction, $130m in procurement opportunities has been committed to Aboriginal companies, BC Hydro said.

To date, four judicial reviews of the environmental approvals of Site C have been dismissed – two in Federal Court, and two in B.C. Supreme Court, BC Hydro said.

Also, a judicial review of a number of provincial permits was heard in B.C. Supreme Court in November 2015 and February 2016 on the applications of Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations. A decision has yet to be issued, BC Hydro said in the update.

BC Hydro is a Crown corporation, owned by the government and people of British Columbia.



About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.