Fact Sheet

Fact sheet: Site C Clean Energy project

The project

  • Site C Clean Energy Project is a third dam and hydroelectric generating station under construction in northeast B.C., about seven kilometres southwest of the City of Fort St. John.
  • The project is being built to meet future electricity needs in B.C. by providing 1,100 megawatts of dependable capacity, and generating about 5,100 gigawatt hours of energy each year – enough to power the equivalent of 450,000 homes per year.
  • As the third project on one river system, Site C will use water already stored behind the existing W.A.C. Bennett Dam in the Williston Reservoir to generate about 35 per cent of the Bennett Dam’s energy, with only five per cent of the reservoir area.
  • Site C will have among the lowest greenhouse gas emissions, per gigawatt hour, compared to other electricity-generation options.
  • A provincewide poll in April 2016 found broad support for Site C. Almost three-quarters (73%) of British Columbians either support Site C (49%) or can support it under certain circumstances (24%), while 25% oppose the project.

Cost estimate

  • $8.335 billion, plus a project reserve of $440 million held by the Treasury Board to account for events outside of BC Hydro's control (e.g., higher than forecast inflation or interest rates).

Approvals

  • The Site C project received an Environmental Assessment Certificate from the B.C. government on October 14, 2014.
  • The project received a Federal Decision Statement from the federal government on October 14, 2014 (re-issued November 25, 2014).
  • The B.C. government announced a positive final investment decision for Site C on December 16, 2014.

Construction

  • The construction of Site C started in July 2015 and will be completed in 2024.

Employment

  • 1,721 people are working on the Site C project, as of July 2016.

Financial commitments

  • As of March 31, 2016, the project has spent $950 million.
  • BC Hydro has financial commitments – contracts and agreements – for the Site C project totalling more than $4 billion.
  • Major contract awards include:
    • $470 million worker accommodation contract
    • $1.75 billion main civil works contract
    • $470 million turbines and generators contract
  • Community agreements have been signed with the City of Fort St. John, District of Taylor and District of Chetwynd. A Regional Legacy Benefits Agreement with the Peace River Regional District and its member communities has been signed.

First Nations

  • BC Hydro has been consulting and engaging with Aboriginal groups since 2007 and is continuing to have many positive discussions.
  • Offers of accommodation have been made to all of the First Nations significantly affected by Site C and BC Hydro is committed to working hard with Aboriginal groups to address their concerns and identify opportunities for them to benefit.
  • In the first year of construction, $130 million in procurement opportunities has been committed to Aboriginal companies. Aboriginal businesses have been awarded work in the following areas: clearing, site preparation, roads and bridges, safety and security, grass seed supply, wetland mitigation, project health clinic, substation work and environmental monitoring.
  • BC Hydro has concluded three agreements with First Nations about Site C, including agreements with Dene Tha’ First Nation and McLeod Lake Indian Band. While specific agreements are confidential, they could include elements such cash payments, land transfers, land protection measures, and business opportunities during construction.

Litigation

  • To date, four judicial reviews of the environmental approvals of Site C have been dismissed – two in Federal Court, and two in B.C. Supreme Court.
    • In July 2015, the BC Supreme Court dismissed a petition by the Peace Valley Landowner Association challenging environmental approval of Site C by the B.C. government. An appeal was heard in early April 2016 and a decision on that appeal has yet to be issued.
    • In August 2015, the Federal Court dismissed an application by the Peace Valley Landowner Association challenging the federal environmental approval of Site C.
    • In August 2015, the Federal Court dismissed an application by Prophet River First Nation and West Moberly First Nations challenging environmental approval of Site C by the federal government. An appeal has been filed and a hearing is taking place on September 12, 2016.
    • In September 2015, the BC Supreme Court dismissed a petition by the Prophet River First Nation and West Moberly First Nations challenging environmental approval of Site C by the provincial government. An appeal has been filed.
    • A judicial review of a number of provincial permits was heard in B.C. Supreme Court in November 2015 and February 2016 on the applications of Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations. A decision has yet to be issued.

Contact:
BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468