Site C hydropower project clears CEAA environmental review

Development of BC Hydro’s 1,100-MW Peace River Site C hydropower project is moving forward after the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s Joint Review Panel completed a review earlier this week.

The environmental report has been passed to Canada’s Minister of the Environment and the province’s Environmental Assessment Office for further review. The British Columbia government said the agencies will have until September to make a final recommendation on the project before passing it to the government for final approval.

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

Site C is included in BC Hydro’s Integrated Resource Plan detailing how the utility plans to meet an expected 40 percent increase in British Columbia’s electricity demand over the next 20 years. BC Hydro noted Site C still requires environmental certification, other regulatory permits and authorizations, and approvals before it can begin construction. Last year, it took bids for geotechnical surveying and drilling services at the project.

BC Hydro solicited applications for qualification for two projects associated with the plant’s construction earlier this year.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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