Private power an alternative to Site C

Wind and run-of-river projects are still in the running, if they can deliver at a competitive price, Energy Minister Bill Bennett says

Wind turbines at Dokie Ridge near Chetwynd. Private power developers are pitching their run-of-river and wind as an alternative to another big dam.

Privately developed run-of-river, wind and solar power remains a possible alternative to a third dam on the Peace River, Energy Minister Bill Bennett says.

Bennett was responding to this week’s decision by the federal and B.C. environment ministries to recommend construction of the Site C dam, which would flood another 83 km of the Peace River valley near Fort St. John.

Bennett said some people have incorrectly interpreted the environmental assessment certificates as a green light for the project, which BC Hydro has considered for 35 years. Studies of natural gas power generation and private clean energy projects are continuing, and a recommendation to cabinet will be made in November, Bennett said.

Studies have shown that equivalent natural gas power plants would be “marginally cheaper” than Site C, which would provide 8.5 per cent of the province’s electricity supply, but that option would require amendment of the province’s clean energy legislation.

“I believe there would be significant public opposition to utilizing gas to generate all of that electricity,” Bennett said. “It’s not totally off the table but it isn’t something that I think has legs.”

Outside experts have endorsed BC Hydro’s forecast that its electricity demand will increase by 40 per cent in the next 20 years, with most of that met through conservation.

Bennett said that forecast may prove to be low if liquefied natural gas production, new mines and other industrial developments proceed.

The government acknowledges that seven aboriginal communities in the Peace region oppose Site C. Environment Minister Mary Polak said they do not have authority to veto the project, a position that may be tested in court if the cabinet approves Site C to proceed next year.

Bennett said the cost of wind, solar and other renewable energy is coming down, but any private alternative would have to include the additional costs of power lines and backup power for intermittent sources.

 

Just Posted

Bunkhouse opens at Midway museum

Operators expect the nightly fee to be around $30

Midway seniors voice hopes, fears for aging in village

The village will host another public forum on aging on July 17

BCSS graduates off to new adventures

The BCSS Class of 2019 is the 50th cohort of Grade 12s from the school

Category 3 fires to be prohibited in Southeast Fire District

The prohibition will take effect at noon on Wednesday, June 12

Passion for planes takes off

The Grand Forks Flying Club is trying to build young interest in aviation

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read