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

Greater Victoria teachers experienced more than 30 incidents of violence from students in one month

Shuttered behavioural programs, lack of resources creates challenges for local schools

Esquimalt High robotics team heads to international competition

The Esquimalt Atom Smashers will participate in the FIRST Robotics Canada competition

Canadian alcohol policy gets failing grade from UVic researchers

Canadian provinces and territories collectively achieved less than half of their potential to reduce alcohol related harm

Island playoffs underway at Oak Bay High

Home team vies for fifth straight Island title

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read