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

Robert Barron column: Thanks to municipal workers during snow storm

I’ve always wondered how anything gets done when mounds of snow fall from the sky.

Snow photos from around Cowichan Valley

Cowichan Valley residents were eager to share

Youth rugby players get national team experience

Cowichan’s U12 and U14 girls teams booming

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Cowichan Coffee Time: New faces and chipping in

• Duncan resident Gianpierro (GP) Denomme is the newest volunteer member of… Continue reading

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Most Read