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.

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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Members of the Tl’etinqox First Nations are awaiting word of when they will receive their second dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
‘We need the second round’: Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse questions vaccine roll-out

It’s been 42 days since Tl’etinqox First Nation members received their first dose of Moderna

A drive-thru restaurant and beer and wine store is being proposed by Broadway Landco Management Ltd. for the former Chemo RV site at 1704 Broadway Ave. South. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Drive-thru restaurant, beer and wine store proposed for Williams Lake

Owners of property at 1704 Broadway Ave. South have applied for a zoning amendment

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
The city of Williams Lake has received provincial funding for a proposed boardwalk connecting the RC Cotton Trail to the River Valley Recreational Trail. (City of Williams Lake rough visualization of the proposal)
$550,000 provincial funding announced for Williams Lake boardwalk trail

The boardwalk will connect the new RC Cotton Trail to the river valley

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read