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B.C. Hydro unveils new Site C design as project goes for government approval

Video – B.C. Hydro has posted this video about the project.

 

B.C. Hydro has officially presented its Site C project descriptions to both the federal and provincial environmental assessment agencies as part of the third stage of its five-stage planning and evaluation process.

Hydro officials say it is the first step to beginning a formal environmental assessment for the proposed dam project.

The proposal will be reviewed by both the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Agency before B.C. Hydro can be move forward with its environmental assessment and it can file its official project application.

If Site C goes forward, it is expected to take seven years to build. The controversial dam project is expected to cost $7.9 billion, an increase from $6.6 billion, which was based on a 1981 cost estimate. Hydro says the cost increases are due to changes to the 1970s dam design, as well as seismic, safety and environmental standard changes. One of the most dramatic changes is the proposed orientation of the dam’s generating station and spillway, which will be perpendicular to the earth fill portion of the dam.

However, Hydro officials now say, with the new design changes, the dam will be one of the most cost effective methods for electricity production. The current average cost for B.C. Hydro electricity production is $129 per megawatt hour. The Site C dam project is expected to produce electricity at a cost of between $87 and $95 per megawatt hour.

B.C. Hydro also says the design changes mean the number of homes the dam will be able to power will increase from 400,000 to 450,000.

If the project is ultimately approved for construction, B.C. Hydro estimates the dam will begin producing electricity by late 2020 or early 2021 and would be in operation for more than 100 years.

The project description report is attached below. Anyone interested in finding out more information about the updated project can visit B.C. Hydro’s website.

 

Photo:  This photo shows the new design and the old design for the Site C dam – Submitted

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