News Release

Public hearing sessions start for Site C Clean Energy Project

FORT ST. JOHN – BC Hydro is pleased to see the start of the public hearing process for the proposed Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C).

"We look forward to the opportunity to explain the rationale for Site C, our detailed studies and mitigation measures, and the long-term benefits of the project for British Columbia," said Charles Reid, President and CEO of BC Hydro. "The public hearing sessions will provide an opportunity for additional input by the public, communities, Aboriginal groups, stakeholders and governments."

The public hearing process for Site C — which take place between December 9, 2013 and January 23, 2014 — is part of a cooperative federal-provincial environmental assessment process, currently in the Joint Review Panel stage.

As part of this process, BC Hydro filed its Site C Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in January 2013 and an amended EIS was submitted to the Joint Review Panel in August. The EIS describes the project rationale, potential effects and proposed measures to avoid or mitigate adverse effects. It also includes the benefits Site C would provide to customers, Aboriginal and northern communities and the province as a whole.

The conclusion of the substantial work undertaken in the EIS is that the effects of the project can largely be mitigated through careful project planning, comprehensive mitigation programs and ongoing monitoring during construction and operations. And while the project has the potential to result in some significant residual effects, BC Hydro believes that those effects are justified by the need for the Site C project, and the environmental, economic and social benefits it would provide.

Site C requires environmental certification and other regulatory permits and approvals before it can proceed to construction. In addition, the Crown has a duty to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate Aboriginal groups.

Key facts about Site C

  • Site C would provide 1,100 megawatts of capacity, and produce about 5,100 gigawatt hours of electricity each year — enough energy to power the equivalent of about 450,000 homes per year in B.C.
  • Site C would have among the lowest GHG emissions, per gigawatt hour, compared to other electricity-generation options.
  • It would be a source of clean and renewable electricity for more than 100 years in B.C.
  • By relying on the existing Williston Reservoir for water storage, Site C would generate approximately 35 per cent of the energy produced at the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, with only five per cent of the reservoir area.
  • Site C would be among the most cost-effective resource options for BC Hydro ratepayers at a cost per megawatt hour of $83.
  • The project would create approximately 10,000 person-years of direct employment during construction, and about 33,000 total jobs through all stages of development and construction.
  • Construction of Site C would contribute $3.2 billion to provincial GDP, including approximately $130 million to regional GDP.
  • During construction, Site C would result in a total of $40 million in tax revenues to local governments and, once in operation, $2 million in revenue from grants-in-lieu and school taxes.
  • Get more information on the public hearing process for Site C on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency site