The British Columbia government will complete construction of the Site C hydroelectric dam, now projected to cost $8.3 billion. The government, however, will put in place a board to oversee the project’s construction and costs, which have ballooned from $6.2 billion.
John Horgan, premier of the province, on Dec. 11 announced that canceling the project would burden ratepayers with a $3.1-billion bill and nothing to show for it. Those costs include $1.6 billion in sunk construction costs and another $1.4 billion to close the project. When completed sometime after 2024, the 1,100-MW dam on the Peace River will provide power for more than 70 years, he said. There are 2,000 workers already on site, with 10,000 workers forecast for peak construction. Additional efforts will be made to bring on more apprentices.
Members of the First Nation and farming interests have said they will file for a court injunction to stop the project.
Started in 2014, construction has continued during the uncertainty over the project. The Peace River Hydro Partners, a consortium of Acciona and Samsung C&T Canada, have a $1.4-billion contract to build an earthfill dam, two diversion tunnels, a roll-compacted concrete foundation for the generation station, spillways and dam buttresses. Work on the tunnels and the earthfill dam, as well as general site preparations, are ongoing.