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Site C Project moving to Environmental Assessment Process

Project Description Report Submitted to Environmental Assessment Agencies

FORT ST. JOHN – BC Hydro has submitted a project description report for the Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C) to federal and provincial environmental assessment agencies. The filing of a project description is the first step to initiate an environmental assessment for Site C. A formal regulatory process will begin once the report has been reviewed and accepted by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

The environmental assessment process for Site C will be thorough and independent. It will include opportunities for consultation and input by the public, Aboriginal groups, communities, property owners and stakeholders. During the review, BC Hydro will identify and assess potential project effects — environmental, economic, social, heritage and health — and opportunities to provide lasting benefits for the region and First Nations. Where effects cannot be avoided, BC Hydro will identify and evaluate options for mitigation.

BC Hydro is proposing to construct Site C to help meet future electricity needs in the province. B.C. is growing and so is our demand for electricity. BC Hydro forecasts that the province’s electricity needs will grow by approximately 40 per cent over the next 20 years. New sources of clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity will be required.

The Site C project would provide up to 1,100 megawatts of capacity, and produce about 5,100 gigawatt hours of electricity each year — enough energy to power more than 450,000 homes per year in B.C.

The project description report provides a general overview of the Site C project and describes key upgrades to the 30-year-old historic design that were required to meet current seismic, safety and environmental guidelines. These design upgrades have resulted in improved foundation stability, greater seismic protection, enhanced spillway safety, and additional generating capacity.

The Site C project description report also includes a project cost update based on the upgraded design, and current market prices for labour, equipment and materials. Site C would have an estimated capital cost of $7.9 billion, and it would produce electricity at a cost between $87 and $95 per megawatt hour. This would make Site C among the most cost-effective resource options to help meet B.C.’s future electricity needs.

Site C is estimated to create approximately 7,000 person-years of direct construction employment through the seven-year construction period. The project is estimated to create up to 35,000 direct and indirect jobs through all stages of development and construction.

The Site C project 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.

If approved for construction, Site C would be a source of clean and renewable electricity in B.C. for more than 100 years.

About BC Hydro

British Columbia is growing, and so is the need for electricity. BC Hydro is dedicated to meeting at least 66 per cent of the province's future electricity needs through conservation by 2020. But in order to meet the remaining demand and continue to ensure a clean, reliable supply of energy, BC Hydro is investing now in the projects that are needed to keep the lights on in B.C. for future generations.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Craig Fitzsimmons
Site C Clean Energy Project
Tel: 778 828 7135

BC Hydro Media Relations
Tel: 604 928 6468

The following Site C Information Sheets are available online at:

  • About Site C
  • Upgraded Project Design and Cost Update
  • Environmental Assessment Process
  • Aboriginal Consultation and Engagement
  • Public and Stakeholder Consultation
  • Access to Generating Station and Construction Site
  • The Site C Reservoir
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Preliminary Stage 3 Study Topics
  • Meeting B.C.’s Future Electricity Needs

For general Site C inquiries, please call: 1 877 217 0777, or email: [email protected].