Private power an alternative to Site C

Wind and run-of-river projects are still in the running, if they can deliver at a competitive price, Energy Minister Bill Bennett says

Wind turbines at Dokie Ridge near Chetwynd. Private power developers are pitching their run-of-river and wind as an alternative to another big dam.

Privately developed run-of-river, wind and solar power remains a possible alternative to a third dam on the Peace River, Energy Minister Bill Bennett says.

Bennett was responding to this week’s decision by the federal and B.C. environment ministries to recommend construction of the Site C dam, which would flood another 83 km of the Peace River valley near Fort St. John.

Bennett said some people have incorrectly interpreted the environmental assessment certificates as a green light for the project, which BC Hydro has considered for 35 years. Studies of natural gas power generation and private clean energy projects are continuing, and a recommendation to cabinet will be made in November, Bennett said.

Studies have shown that equivalent natural gas power plants would be “marginally cheaper” than Site C, which would provide 8.5 per cent of the province’s electricity supply, but that option would require amendment of the province’s clean energy legislation.

“I believe there would be significant public opposition to utilizing gas to generate all of that electricity,” Bennett said. “It’s not totally off the table but it isn’t something that I think has legs.”

Outside experts have endorsed BC Hydro’s forecast that its electricity demand will increase by 40 per cent in the next 20 years, with most of that met through conservation.

Bennett said that forecast may prove to be low if liquefied natural gas production, new mines and other industrial developments proceed.

The government acknowledges that seven aboriginal communities in the Peace region oppose Site C. Environment Minister Mary Polak said they do not have authority to veto the project, a position that may be tested in court if the cabinet approves Site C to proceed next year.

Bennett said the cost of wind, solar and other renewable energy is coming down, but any private alternative would have to include the additional costs of power lines and backup power for intermittent sources.

 

Just Posted

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

Victoria’s oldest pipes to be replaced this year

The pipes along Cook Street were installed in 1891 and are made of bricks

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

WATCH: Medieval fighters train in Colwood

Fighters are gearing up for world championships in medieval combat

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

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read