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BC Hydro' Site C project faces $484m in additional costs

EBR Staff Writer Published 06 October 2017

BC Hydro revealed that delays in the 1.1GW Site C hydro project on the Peace River in British Columbia would increase the budget by an additional C$610m ($484.3m) or 7.3%, taking the overall project costs to C$8.945bn ($7.1bn).

The project will not be able to meet the current timeline for river diversion in 2019; however, the company expects to deliver it on time by November 2024 with elevated costs.

BC Hydro’s revelations on the dam and hydroelectric power generation project were made through a letter written by its president and chief operating officer Chris O’Riley to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC).

O’Riley wrote: “Despite the challenges we have encountered and the risks that remain, our analysis continues to confirm that completing Site C as planned is still the most cost-effective option for our customers.

“Suspending, or terminating and finding the power we need from other sources – which carries its own set of uncertainties – would cost billions more than completing Site C.”

Last month, BCUC released its preliminary report on the Site C inquiry to the Canadian government. Its findings revealed various issues and marked a number of areas where more details were needed before coming to any conclusions.

The cost to scrap the hydro project and remediate the site was estimated to cost C$1.1bn ($870m), which the commission found non-feasible.

Once operational, the project would generate 5,100GWh of clean energy annually, which would power around 450,000 homes in British Columbia. It is expected to provide electricity to the province for more than 100 years.


Image: Illustration of Site C hydroelectric project. Photo: courtesy of Acciona.