Artist's rendering of Site C dam on Peace River. The B.C. government is expected to decide this year whether to start construction in 2015.

Don’t rush Site C dam, mayor urges

The community most affected by the proposed third dam on the Peace River is urging the B.C. government to get more answers

The community most affected by the proposed third dam on the Peace River is urging the B.C. government to get more answers before going ahead.

Hudson’s Hope Mayor Gwen Johansson made the rounds of Vancouver media this week, backed up by a consultant’s report that questions the need for the $8 billion project assessed by a federal-provincial joint review panel this spring.

Energy Minister Bill Bennett has said the cabinet will consider the federal panel’s report and decide this fall whether to issue permits to allow construction to begin in 2015.

The report by planning and engineering consultants Urban Systems reinforces many of the doubts expressed by the joint review panel, including the cost of the dam and the alternatives available to meet anticipated power demand.

Those options include upgrading the gas-fired Burrard Thermal generating station in the Lower Mainland. The federal review estimated that upgrade could be done for the $1 billion that BC Hydro would pay in interest on the debt generated by the Site C dam.

Urban Systems looked at other options, including geothermal, solar, new natural gas generation and “microgrids” with distributed power from solar or other small sources.

Johansson said the dam would flood more productive farmland in the Peace River valley, and commit the region to another big power source for 100 years at a time when small, distributed sources are becoming competitive.

“Hudson’s Hope has done its bit,” Johansson told CBC radio Wednesday. “We have suffered the consequences of the Bennett Dam and Peace Canyon dam. If there are alternatives I think we should have a really close look at them.”

The Urban Systems report compares Site C’s estimated power cost of $110 per megawatt hour with a new gas cogeneration plant in Calgary that is expected to cost $30 per megawatt hour.

Johansson echoed the joint review panel and NDP leader John Horgan’s call for Site C to be reviewed by the B.C. Utilities Commission, to assess its cost estimates and BC Hydro’s projections for future electricity demand.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake returns to Langford

Annual fundraising event held from April 26 to 28

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read