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

Saanich police are looking for a man who exposed himself Saturday night

The incident exposure happened at the intersection of Feltham Road and Shelbourne Street

Readers Theatre returns to Victoria’s Emanu-El

Born at Congregation Emanu-El’s 2013 Arts Festival, Bema Productions is back for its fifth season

Victoria-bound plane slides off icy Edmonton runway

Crew, passengers had to disembark via bridge stairs

VIDEO: Hundreds gather in Victoria as part of global Women’s March for equality

‘End Violence Against Women’ march theme for 2019

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

Most Read