BC Hydro requests changes to Site C environmental assessment certificate

BC Hydro has filed a request with the Environmental Assessment Office of British Columbia to amend its environmental assessment certificate for the 1,100-MW Site C project.

On Feb. 2, the office sent out a request for participants in an “advisory working group of federal, provincial, local government and First Nation representatives to assist EAO with review of” the proposed amendments.

EAO said it anticipates three amendment requests in 2018, with the first amendment process expected to begin in March.

According to the website Energeticcity.ca, the amendment is intended to allow for proposed changes and improvements that include refining the design of the generating station portion of the project by having each of the six turbine-generator units connected to a transformer upstream of the units on the transformer deck, as compared to the original plan to locate the transformers on the draft tube deck. In addition, the original planned seven spillway gates will be replaced with three radial gates and six low-level outlets. BC Hydro spokesperson Dave Conway is cited as the source of this information.

Conway is reported to have said that the proposed changes will not affect the cost of the facility but will optimize capacity, minimize environmental risks, improve safety and facilitate the ease of long-term maintenance during operations.

The proposed project consists of constructing a dam and 1,100-MW generating station on the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia, according to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Project components are a 1,050-m-long and 60-m-high earthfill dam, an 83-km-long reservoir, realignment of four sections of a highway, and two 77-km-long transmission lines.

CEAA issued the amended order for this project on Nov. 10, 2017. The original order was issued May 25, 2017.

In December 2017, BC Premier John Horgan announced the construction of this controversial facility would be completed, saying they had no other choice to avoid forfeiting more than US$3 billion in combined debt and remediation work.

Click here for more information on Site C.

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