Site C is going to cost you money – a lot of money.
BC Hydro currently estimates that Site C Dam will cost $8.8 billion and “projects losing $800 million in the first 4 years of operation.” (Report of the Joint Review Panel, Site C Clean Energy Project, BC Hydro, May 1, 2014)
BC Hydro has already confirmed rate increases between 2014-2018 of 28%. It is anticipated that cumulatively, rate increases over the next 10 years will be about 45% without Site C. If Site C is approved, BC Hydro intends to increase rates even further to recover the costs of Site C.
Site C: BC’s next White Elephant? The energy from Site C is not needed.
After 28 days of hearings and review of 28,000 pages of documentation, the Joint Review Panel concluded that BC Hydro has failed to prove that we need Site C. Further, they emphasized that because there are significant adverse effects, justification for the project must rest on an unambiguous need for the power.
Alternative sources of power would be more cost effective.
Energy economist Dr. Marvin Shaffer conducted significant research on the viability of Site C and has concluded that there are far less expensive alternatives to Site C.
“BC Hydro is inducing new mining and oil and gas load with the offer of low cost power that it does not have; giving rise to more load growth than what would be economically efficient.”
– Dr. Marvin Shaffer, Economist
Energy expert Philip Raphals states that even if BC Hydro’s greatest energy predictions are realized, Site C is still more expensive than a combined range of alternatives.
The Joint Review Panel also urged BC Hydro to consider using the tremendous geothermal potential in BC as an alternative to Site C. BC Hydro has confirmed that over 700Mw of geothermal power exists in the province, about two-thirds of the 1,100Mw capacity of Site C.
BC businesses are very concerned about how Site C will affect their bottom line.
The Association of Major Power Customers of BC has stated that Site C is not the right project now; citing additional concerns regarding recent rate increases and the accuracy of BC Hydro’s energy forecasts.
“The huge cost [of Site C] will rob the province of valuable resources that could be used to deliver other needed government services as well as burden the BC economy with debt and high electric power rates that will sap our competitiveness.”
– Dan Potts, former executive director of the Association of Major Power customers of BC
The BC Chamber of Commerce states that with regard to Site C, “… the payoff for the province and its taxpaying citizens won’t justify the huge investment required.” (Business Vancouver, editorial, June 3-9, 2014)
In December, 2014, after the BC government announced that they intend to proceed with Site C, Business Vancouver published an editorial citing their concern that the provincial government has left a multi-billion dollar white elephant under the tree for British Columbians.