Canada utility consults on 900-MW Peace River Site C

BC Hydro has begun stakeholder consultations that could lead to development of the 900-MW Peace River Site C hydroelectric project.

The province-owned utility is to combine consultation responses with technical and financial data to refine elements of project design. BC Hydro also will use feedback to help define the scope and nature of ongoing environmental, technical, and other studies.

BC Hydro said consultations would build on public and stakeholder comment gathered from a pre-consultation process launched in December 2007. (HNN 12/10/07) The utility is to consult in two rounds with the public and local, regional, and provincial stakeholders on key effects, benefits, and features of Site C.

In the first round, now in progress, BC Hydro seeks feedback on:
o Site C as an energy option;
o Community and provincial benefits;
o Project design elements, including reservoir impact lines and water management;
o Recreation, including river- and reservoir-based opportunities;
o Infrastructure, including relocation of a highway, and worker housing;
o Environment, including a potential increase in fog, and effects on fish; and
o Land uses, specifically heritage resources, such as effects on archaeological sites.

Several stakeholder meetings are planned during the first round. Information on stakeholder group meetings may be obtained by sending an e-mail to or by calling (1) 877-217-0777. An on-line discussion guide and feedback form for the first round are on the Internet at Information on a series of regional open houses also is on the site.

The deadline for responding is June 30.

The second round of consultation is planned for fall 2008, with the utility seeking feedback on updated environmental, engineering, and other technical studies.

BC Hydro completed an initial project evaluation in December 2007. It also released a Stage 1 report on feasibility with an estimated capital cost of C$5 billion to C$6.6 billion (US$4.98 billion to US$6.57 billion).

Site C would be the third hydroelectric project on the Peace River in northeast British Columbia, joining 2,730-MW G.M. Shrum and 694-MW Peace Canyon Dam. Sites A, B, C, D, and E were identified in 1958 as five potential sites for a third dam. In 1976, BC Hydro chose Site C after finding the other sites were not viable.

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