Site C Dam Contruction aerial. November 30th, 2016

According to BC Hydro, the $9 Billion Site C dam on BC’s Peace River will not be paid off until the year 2094. And what that means is there no prospect of Site C producing enough revenue to cover the $9-Billion cost.

And this is all based on the project coming in on budget.

Does BC Hydro admit to this forecast?

BC Utilities Commission’s hearings on BC Hydro’s proposed rate design shows that even the executives know this. When BC Hydro executive Randy Reimann testified about the Site C project on Aug. 17 he stated that Site C expects no return for 70 years.

You can read the entire transcript here but this is from page 676.

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And what happens when in the end, Site C and hydro in general may be supplanted by another energy advancement, making it obsolete? A big waste of your money.

Energy Demand Forecasts Dead Wrong

This payoff time that BC Hydro is telling the public is actually a BEST CASE scenario. BC Hydro’s load forecast have already come under scrutiny. When the Site C dam was first proposed in 1980, it was based on extremely exaggerated energy demand forecasts that have now been shown to be wrong.

In the cost-benefit analysis produced for the utilities commission, BC Hydro predicted that the load forecast — the demand for power — would increase from 29,163 gigawatt hours in 1978/79 to 92,000 gigawatt hours in 1999/2000.

BC Hydro argued that we needed Site C, in addition to the then under-construction Revelstoke Dam, to meet that growing demand. It was wrong.

Dead wrong. Comprehensively wrong. Catastrophically wrong.

Had it not been for that BCUC review, BC Hydro, its owners (that’s us) and its ratepayers (that’s us as well) would have lost their shirts. In fact, it would have undermined the very foundations of BC Hydro and the government’s finances.

Instead, Bennett’s referral of the project to the BCUC saved the day. The independent utilities commission review rejected BC Hydro’s exaggerated load forecast and the Site C project along with it.

Adrian Dix – The Tyee – Unneeded, Expensive Site C Brings Huge Costs, No Benefits: NDP Critic

So why is Christy Clarke and her Liberals risking so much of your hard earned taxpayer dollars on such a risky venture?

So what would $9 Billion in Solar Panels look like in BC?

Last July we wondered how many solar panels would be needed to provide the world with enough energy. But let’s focus closer to home.

Solar Powering BC

How much area would need to cover in solar panels here in BC to power the province with Solar? A recent blog post at Roost Energy answers that question with some back of the napkin math that we would like to share.

Based on some back of the napkin calculations, I calculated we would need in the order of 165 km2 to cover our province’s electricity demand for today, which happens to be roughly the same area covered by Vernon and Coldstream!  While this may at first blush still seem like a lot, it’s actually less than 0.02% of BC’s total land mass.

Stats Can shows that BC in June 2015 produced 4,946,926 megawatt hours (and assuming that we mostly used all of that generated electricity), that would be, on average 165,000 megawatt hours or 165 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per day in June.  Some demo panels I have up in Vernon, BC are producing about 11 kWh/day for 7 panels, covering just over 11 square meters, so let’s say we get about 1kWh per square meter in Vernon in June. That would mean we would need about 165 million m2 of space or 165 km2 which is very close to the area covered by the twin cities of Vernon (about 95 km2) and Coldstream (about 67 km2).

Produce Enough electricity to Power All of BC…

Site C is huge waste of your money, with no revenue coming back into the provincial coffers till almost the year 2100. The project has begun and it’s almost past the point of no return.

If you care about this issue, contact your MP and let them know it’s not ok to spend $9-Billion+ on this project.


Read more about Site C dam

Site C has no benefits

Christy Clark’s Big Sales Job on Site C

Taxpayers on the hook for Site C dam until 2094